The post–World War I treaties of Versailles, Sèvres, and Lausanne collectively created two related frames for ongoing Allied control over unreliable territory: a system of “minority protection” in the new and fragile states of eastern Europe, and a neocolonial regime of externally monitored “mandates” in the Mashriq and elsewhere, with both systems falling under the jurisdiction of the newly constructed League of Nations based in Geneva. This article explores how the architects of the peace agreements developed the concepts of minority rights and mandatory responsibilities in conjunction, as a way of codifying, formalizing, and legitimizing restrictions on sovereignty along immovable racial lines.

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