European totalitarianism (2)
In the aftermath of the First World War, the main concern of the victorious powers was less the peace in itself that of how dealing with this new and dangerous threat which was the Bolshevism. Indeed, Versailles’s peace-settlement imposed by the major victors (USA, Britain, France, Italy) was dominated by two main considerations : First how the surviving dictatorial regimes in Europe and in the USA would deal with the new revolutionary regime in Russia and second how to avoid its spread and its contamination of West European countries, the old and new ones, by an alternative revolutionary regime, that of Bolshevism. In short, the main preoccupation of the Victor powers during Versailles negotiations was how making the world safe from Bolshevism and how re-mapping Europe domestic politics either within the Victor countries as well within the new states in eastern Europe those which had been built on the overthrow of the Russian and Habsurg empires. The priority for the Allied was to thwart Bolchevism through direct intervention into Russian territory or by setting up a mercenary and proxy troops, the “Whites” in order to stamp out the new revolutionary Bolshevik regime. The second thing was to redraw the map of Europe by creating proxies regimes and proxies states around dedicated to isolate it behind a “quarantine belt” (cordon sanitaire), in the contemporary language of diplomacy) of anti-communist states built both on the spoils of the formerly Russian lands and on those of Austro-Hungary empire. This “quarantaine belt” went from north to South : from Finland an autonomous region allowed by lenin to secede; three new little Baltic republics(Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) proxies states created ex-nihilo having any historical precedent ; Poland restored to independent statehood after 120 years and an enormously enlarged Rumania in size doubled by accessions from the Hungarian and Austrian lands of the Habsburg empire and ex-Russian Bessarabia. The attempt to form proxies states into the Caucasus failed because of the support brought by an anti-communist but revolutionary Turkey to revolutionary Bolshevik Russia. The attempt to create proxies states such as Armenian and Georgian proxies states setting up after Brest Litowosk and attempts under the British to detach oïl-rich Azerbaijan, had failed after the victory of the Bolsheviks in the Civil War of 1918-1920 and the Soviet-Turkish treaty of 1921; Other proxies states had been created out of nothing like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia combinations.