Class of 2021 Evaluates Paris 1919

In 1919, the leaders of the Allied Powers gathered at the Paris Peace Conference to set peace terms to end World War I. On Thursday, the Class of 2021 gathered in the Noyes History Center to analyze repercussions of those century-old decisions. Their group presentations, and individual reflection essays, served as the final exam for “Forces That Shaped the Modern World,” a required class that examines the economic developments, ideas and cultural patterns that contributed to the shaping of the modern world since 1400.
Each class analyzed the Conference through the lenses of either Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, France, Greece/Balkan League, Hejaz/Prince Feisal, India, Italy, Japan, the Ottoman Empire, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Zionists. Their goal was to answer four questions: Why did this nation/group go to war? How did it experience war? How did the war end for it? How did it fare after the Peace Conference? Students rotated through each classroom to hear their peers present their findings.
“Kids shine in moments like this. They become experts,” said History Master Mike Hanewald. “[The History Department] imagined this being successful, but when you see it, it’s better than we ever expected.”
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