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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The First World War quintessentially defined the future of ‘minorities’ on the Continent of Europe. Even before representatives met at Versailles, a number of determined national movements had engaged in bloody campaigns bent on independence or unification with their ethnic kin. Still larger numbers of ‘small peoples’ endeavoured to integrate themselves into the norms and cultures of their home states. Likewise, governments of the era were often compelled to make peace with the demographic, political, and economic realities that “national” minority populations. The arrival of refugees and migrants represented a test for provincial communities and administrations seeking to settle the meaning of integration and national belonging. The opportunity to deport, resettle, or even liquidate populations provided a tool for states seeking to resolve national questions in a capricious manner. Even with the creation of the League of Nations, minorities in Europe regularly suffered at the hands of majoritarian governments.

Keywords: minorities, national question, migrants, deportation, social engineering, genocide, League of Nations

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