Wilsonian Armenia refers to the boundary configuration of the Armenian state in the Treaty of Sèvres, drawn by US President Woodrow Wilson State Department. The Treaty of Sèvres was a peace treaty that had been drafted and signed between the Western Allied Powers and the defeated government of the Ottoman Empire in August 1920. The treaty was never signed by the United States of America and was never ratified by the Ottoman Empire.
|History of Armenia|
The proposed boundaries incorporated the Ottoman vilayets of Erzurum, Bitlis, and Van, which once had Armenian populations of varying sizes. This region was extended to the north, up to the west side of Trabzon to provide the Democratic Republic of Armenia with an outlet to the Black Sea at the port of Trabzon.
The Turkish War of Independence forced the former wartime Allies to return to the negotiating table prior to the ratification of the treaty. The parties signed and ratified the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which annulled the Sèvres Treaty, and also established the current borders of Turkey. This included the previously established eastern borders of Turkey as agreed by all parties by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and Treaty of Alexandropol, signed on November 2, 1920, and the Treaty of Moscow (1921) and the Treaty of Kars, signed on October 23, 1921.
During the Conference of London, David Lloyd George encouraged Wilson to accept a mandate for Anatolia, and particularly, with the support of the Armenian diaspora, for the provinces claimed by the Administration for Western Armenia. Wilson sent the King-Crane Commission and General James Harbord to the region to study the claims made by the Armenian national movement, and to determine if these claims were compatible with Wilson's Fourteen Points. The 12th point was:
"The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees."
The King-Crane Commission tackled the issue of whether there should be an Armenian state, and whether or not this state should be created under a US mandate and concluded that there should be one. It has been noted that the arguments the Commission proposed to justify the creation of an Armenian state were similar to later arguments for the existence of Israel after World War II. Harbord recommended against dividing the territories inhabited by Armenians, in order to prevent potential problems such as intercommunal wars. Harbord's report stated that "the temptation to reprisals for past wrongs" would make it extremely difficult to maintain peace in the region.
The King-Crane Commission noted that the Armenians had suffered a traumatic experience, that they couldn't trust the Ottoman Empire to respect their rights any more, and that the Armenians were "a people." The Commission therefore recommended that the hard-won Armenian independence established during the Caucasus Campaign should be respected by the international community and insured by the Allies.
Armenian arguments 
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), using their position of leaders of Armenian national movement, claimed that this region should not be part of the Ottoman Empire based on their assertion that Armenians had the capability to build a nation. Armenians had de facto control over a region surrounding Van Province of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 3 years (1915-1918). The ARF stated that it was natural to annex this region to the newly established Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1920), the first modern establishment of an Armenian republic created after the collapse of the Russian Empire.
Another argument developed during this period was that the population was becoming increasingly more Armenian, and therefore Armenians were not a minority but a plurality; moving the displaced Armenians to this area should be considered as an option. In 1917, some 150,000 Armenians relocated to the provinces of Erzurum, Bitlis, Muş, and Van. The Armenians had already begun building their houses and creating their farmlands. In 1917, the provincial governor Aram Manukian ("Aram Pasha") stated that a new autonomous state in the region should be founded, under Russia or the Ottoman Empire. Armen Garo ("Karekin Pastirmaciyan") and other spokesmen proposed to have Armenian soldiers in Europe transfer to the Caucasus front for the protection and stability of the new establishment. Armenian soldiers began to create a protective line between the Ottoman Army and Armenian front.
As the previous months had shown, King-Crane Commission had not adequately analyzed the situation. The realities on the ground were different, and they were not included in the report. The Treaty of Alexandropol and then the Treaty of Kars were, combined, the first blockage to this idea and then within the following months, the Treaty of Sèvres was superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne. The Armenian national fight for "Western Armenia" being part of the newly established Turkish republic was dropped from the table.
Today, as a continuation of the initial goal, the creation of an independent and united Armenia consisting of all territories designated as Wilsonian Armenia by the Treaty of Sèvres is a stated aim of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, regardless of the fact that these territories are now inhabited mainly by ethnic Kurds and Turks.
Armenian historian of the Genocide Vahakn Dadrian argued that, though it began as an effort to improve the lot of Armenians, the Treaty of Sèvres served mainly to compound the misfortunes of Armenians. He wrote that: "However long overdue and deserved its terms might have seemed to the Armenians, its promise of restoring to the Armenians a large chunk of historic Armenia fueled extravagant Armenian hopes and irredentist aspirations." Genesis of the Sèvres Treaty also coincided with the definitive defeat of the Damat Ferit's Cabinet in Istanbul which had initiated the prosecution against the authors of the genocide. From that period on court martial proceedings slackened and gradually disappeared.
See also 
- Hovannisian, Richard G. (1996). The Republic of Armenia, Vol. IV: Between Crescent and Sickle, Partition and Sovietization. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 40–44. ISBN 0-520-08804-2.
- Hovannisian Richard G. The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times: Vol. II: Foreign Domination to Statehood: The Fifteenth Century to the Twentieth Century. New York: St Martin's Press, and London: Macmillan, 1997
- Vahakn N. Dadrian The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus, p. 359