On Thursday 18 October a new six-part public lecture series entitled ‘1918 and the New Europe’ began at Trinity College Dublin. The lecture series will hear from national and international experts who will re-examine the significance of 1918 as the beginning of a new European order. The series will focus on the collapsing empires and the states that were forged—territorially, culturally, and politically—in the peace treaties that followed. It will re-examine the significance of 1918 as the beginning of a new European order, from the perspective of the collapsing Empire and four successor states, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Hungary, which were forged—territorially, culturally, and politically—by the peace treaties that followed.
The second lecture in the series, on Friday 2 November, was entitled ‘1918 and the collapse of the Habsburg Empire: From multinational empire to multinational states’, and was delivered by Pieter Judson, Professor of European History, European University Institute. At the end of 1918, as the Habsburg Empire collapsed and both brand new and existing states took over its territories, nationalists in Central Europe proclaimed the dawn of the era of the nation state. They hailed the nation state as the embodiment of a bright, democratic, and modern future, while castigating multinational empires as outdated and oppressive. The revolutions that the nationalists appropriated for their own, however, produced anger and resentment about unfulfilled promises among victors and defeated alike. And contrary to nationalists’ claims, 1918 heralded a new age of multinational empire in Central Europe, one as radical, brutal, and extreme as the age of total war that had produced it.
The lecture took place in the Trinity Long Room Hub at 6.30pm.