Bridget Kendall explores how decisions at the Paris Peace Conference 1919 influenced global conflict for a century. In this episode: the Balkans War and breakup of Yugoslavia.
As the dusts of the Great War settled in 1919, the victorious Allied Powers of Britain, France and the United States gathered together in Paris to build a new, peaceful world. In this series, former BBC Diplomatic Editor Bridget Kendall explores how their decisions would influence a century of global conflict.
Kings, prime ministers and foreign ministers with their crowds of advisers rubbed shoulders with journalists and lobbyists for a hundred causes, from independent nations to women's rights. For six extraordinary months the city was effectively the centre of world government as the peacemakers wound up bankrupt empires and created new countries.
Formed in the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the delegates from the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes presented themselves to the great powers in Paris. Their country would come to be known at Yugoslavia, but sewn into the fabric of the new state were tensions that never went away, eventually leading to the country's breakup in the 1990s.
Featuring contribution from Professor Margaret Macmillan, author of 'Peacemakers: Six Months that Changed the World' and Professor Dejan Djokić, Director of the Centre for the Study of the Balkans at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Producer: Sam Peach