Program Details

“Making the World Safe for Democracy” 2019 - Centenary of President Woodrow Wilson at the Versailles Conference

Claudia Dunlea
History / International Relations
Video Catch-up

Course Description

This series traces the causes and course of World War I, “the war to end all wars,” from 1914 to 1918, with a special focus on America’s role in this conflict. Entering late in 1917, Woodrow Wilson intended to create a new world order, based on democracy and self-determination; which foresaw new nations emerging and great empires vanquishing. However, at the Versailles Peace Conference of 1919, Wilson’s idealism was met by French revanchism and shaping a lasting peace would become difficult. This series covers the highlights of the armed conflict from 1914 to 1918 and assesses the lasting legacy of the Versailles Peace Conference. Measured against the judgment of history, it is a study of flawed decisions with terrible consequences, chief among them the widely accepted view of history that the road from the Hall of Mirrors directly led to the German invasion of Poland only 20 years later. Also some of the most intractable problems of the modern world have roots in decisions made at Versailles. Among them one could list – for instance - the Balkan wars of the 1990s and the endless struggle between Arabs and Jews over land that each thought had been promised them.


  1. The War that Didn’t End All Wars: Causes and Course of WWI
  2. The French Get Revanche for 1871: From the Compiègne Forest to the Hall of Mirrors
  3. Creating a New World Order: Wilson’s Self-Determination and a League Misses its Star
  4. Legacy of Versailles: A Flawed Peace Treaty or the Germans are Bad Losers?

About the Instructor

  • Claudia Dunlea, PhD, is a senior instructor of history at FAU. She received her doctorate in European Integration History from the University of Hamburg, Germany. Dunlea is the author of a book that investigates the origins of a supranational European foreign policy in the 1950s. Her recent research on the diplomatic relations of the European Union was published in two international publications. Having been born and raised in post-WWII Germany, Dunlea developed a deep personal interest in the 12 dark years of her country’s history. Among other topics, she is teaching courses on WWII, aspects of the Holocaust, and modern Germany’s attempt to deal with its Nazi past.

Upcoming programs presented by Claudia Dunlea.

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