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National Minorities and the European Nation-States System$
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Jennifer Jackson Preece

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198294375.001.0001

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The League of Nations System of Minority Guarantees (1919–1939)

The League of Nations System of Minority Guarantees (1919–1939)

(p.67) Chapter 5 The League of Nations System of Minority Guarantees (1919–1939)
National Minorities and the European Nation-States System


Oxford University Press

The great powers’ response to the events of 1875–1878 established a standard of treatment that was later applied to those new nation-states which emerged out of the defeated Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Prussian Kingdom in Central and Eastern Europe after 1919. These successor states were unavoidably ethnographically diverse despite the fact that national self-determination was publicly avowed as the wellspring of their legitimacy. This chapter examines the League of Nations system of minority guarantees as a precursor of post-Cold War efforts to protect national minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, focusing on the origins of this inter-war system, the content of its national minority guarantees, the manner in which the League’s guarantee functioned, the attitude of treaty-bund states, great powers, and the minorities themselves to this system, and its overall efficacy in protecting them.

Keywords:   League of Nations, minority guarantees, nation-states, Europe, national minorities, treaties

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