Treaty of Köpenick
Treaty of Peace between the Central Powers and Italy
Signed 10 September 1919
Location Köpenick Palace, Prussia, Germany
Effective 16 July 1920
Condition Ratification by Italy and Central Powers.
Signatories Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italy

Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg Austria-Hungary
Flag of the German Empire.svg Germany
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Ottoman Empire

Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria
Depositary German Government
Languages German, Bulgarian, Italian, Turkish

The Treaty of Köpenick, was signed on 10 September 1919 by the victorious Central Powers of World War I on the one hand and by the Kingdom of Italy on the other. The treaty signing ceremony took place at the Köpenick Palace.

Background[edit | edit source]

Already on 21 October 1918, delegates of the Austrian Imperial Council had convened in a "provisional national assembly of the Austrian Empire" at the Reichsratsgebäude. While the collapse of the Italian Army culminated at the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, the Social Democrat Karl Renner was elected Austrian State Chancellor on 30 October. In the course of the Aster Revolution on 31 October, the newly established Democratic Republic of Hungary under Minister President Mihály Károlyi declared the real union with Austria terminated.

By the time of the Armistice of Buonconsiglio Castle on 3 November 1918, the fate of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy was uncertain. On 16 October 1918 Emperor Charles I of Austria officially declared to "reformation in the Austrian administration", one day later the provisional assembly declared the Austro-Hungarian Empire to be a democratic federation of states. However, the secession of Hungary from the federation made the entire empire unstable. Moreover Northern Venetia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia was occupied by forces of the Central Powers and Austrian troops entered the city of Venezia, leading to violent fights.

An Austrian Constitutional Assembly election was held on 16 February 1919. The Assembly re-elected Karl Renner state chancellor and was tasked with reforming the empire. When foreign minister Sidney Sonnino arrived at Köpenick in May 1919, he and the Italian delegation found themselves excluded from the negotiations led by the, by this time former, Austrian Ministers-President Heinrich Lammasch. Upon an ultimatum, Sonnino signed the treaty on 10 September.

Provisions[edit | edit source]

The treaty declared that the Italy must dismiss its government and hold new elections. According to article 177, the Italians accepted responsibility for causing the war along with the Allied Powers and for violating international laws of neutrality. Italy recognized the independence of Livonia, Lithuanian, Poland, and Ukraine as well as the Austrian annexation of Montenegro. The treaty included 'war reparations' of large sums of money, directed towards the Central Powers.

Territory[edit | edit source]

Venetia, i.e. the predominantly Italian-speaking parts of the Habsburg monarchy was formed. This kingdom gave the Italians in Austria a voice in the Vienna government.

Politics[edit | edit source]

Article 88 of the treaty required Italy to refrain from directly or indirectly compromising the independence of other nations in Europe, which meant that Italy could no longer continue its ambitions over the Adriatic coast or Albania. Accordingly, at least temporarely, Italy had to abandon nearly all imperial aspirations. Many Italians would come to find this term harsh (especially among those who were pushing for the creation of an Italian Empire), due to Italy's later economic weakness. The economic weakness of Italy would later lead to support of Fascism.

See also[edit | edit source]

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