The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive explanation as to why the legal status of minorities was enacted in the way it was. Considered as a whole, the legal status of national minorities in Germany during the years 1918–1919 clearly changed. The majority of the German political elite gradually accepted the idea that minorities should be guaranteed fundamental rights that were seen to be reasonable in legislation. Then necessary decisions were made at a national as well as an individual state level by the end of the summer of 1919. In the background these changes were influenced by a group of various cosmopolitan-moral, domestic and foreign policy factors, with their combined effect resulting in this change.