The year of 1918 was a crucial point in the history of Europe. Its importance does not only stem from the end of World War I, but also from the establishment of new states. Eastern Europe was particularly an arena where many new states emerged after the dissolution of tsarist Russia. The abovementioned process was correlated with the outcome of World War I (the defeat of the Central Powers on the Western Front and their victory on the Eastern Front against the tsarist Russia resulting in imposing their protectorate over Eastern Europe) but simultaneously it was influenced by the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution originating from a structural crisis of Russia.
The legacy of nation-building processes, taking place in the period of 1917–1921 in the European part of the tsarist Russia— even when some of the states did not manage to survive— occupies a key role in the historical memories of those countries. The importance of this legacy originates from the fact that these states often constituted the most progressive nation-building efforts in the world. The wider context of these developments and the important interlinkages existing between them are very often unfamiliar to many Europeans today. Despite that, the state-building attempts, undertaken in Eastern Europe between 1917 and 1921, had a huge impact on the trajectory of European history. Contextualising this particular academic enquiry with the events of 1918 and benefiting from methodological advantages of process tracing, our project represents an attempt to restore (or, if necessary, build from scratch) a communicational system for sending a historical message to a wider Europe. A century after, while celebrating the Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish truly big anniversaries in 2017–2018, Europeans have already forgotten how interconnected and interlinked the 1918-bound events had been and by how much those events had affected the entire European continent as well as the international system.
- history of Europe
- international system
- World War I