Describe the political and territorial changes resulting from WWI and the Paris Peace settlement.

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The political and territorial changes can be considered together, since many of the political changes had to do with ethnic groups being able to govern themselves. One of the goals of the peace process was to encourage self-government for ethnic groups; however, a team of ethnographers determined that these people in many cases did not think of themselves as a "nation" but rather as members of a village. Czechs were happy to receive their own nation carved from the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, but there were many Germans who felt cut off from their countrymen. Additionally, many German-language speakers were trapped inside of Poland when it was formed by the Paris Peace Conference.

In the eyes of some, the peace process was also punitive. Germany lost Alsace-Lorraine, a province which it had held since the Franco-Prussian War. Russia, while originally a faithful member of the Entente, was not even invited to the peace process, and had to give up land to form the Baltic countries and Poland. Austria-Hungary was split into two distinct nations, and the former empire's minorities were put in the new nation of Yugoslavia. The Ottoman Empire, which by 1918 was barely maintaining its Middle Eastern territory, was dissolved in order to create the modern nation of Turkey. The Middle East was carved into a series of mandates which would be ruled by the Allied Powers. This was against the will of some in the Arab world who felt betrayed after they had helped the Allies fight against the Turks during the war.

The peace process was a combined attempt at creating a world without ethnic tension and a system which would punish those defeated in the war. However, ethnic tension would continue in the Balkans, and the immediate aftermath of WWI saw a war between the Soviet Union and Poland. Furthermore, the punishments dealt to those who were defeated in the war would have far-reaching reprocutions; Germany would use ethnic self-rule as its justification for annexing Czechoslovakia on the eve of WWII.

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