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World War I and Propaganda

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    Propaganda refers to the use of communication techniques to affect people’s thinking and behavior. Any technique or action that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, values, beliefs, or actions of a group can be described as propaganda. Wartime propaganda was made to lure people into contributing to the war in different ways. Propaganda takes on many different forms. Movies would be shown to people in movie theaters. Brochures were handed out to people walking by on the streets or in crowded places. There ∈ public speakers at gatherings or public meetings.

    Statements would be announced on the radio about the war. People would go to the movie theaters to watch the news and they would see newsreels. Posters were displayed and they were the most effective way of getting a message across. Posters were very effective because they could be made into any size. Posters could be made large so they would catch people’s eyes. They could also be made small so it would be easier to hang up. Posters would put an image into people’s heads because they were often very creative, detailed, and artistic.

    Posters could be put anywhere such as in crowded places so more people would see them. Posters cost less and could be made in a shorter time. They could also be hung up anywhere and anytime. In a world war, one country resorted to propaganda because they are desperate and needed more people to help during the war. Propaganda would help the government motivate citizens to help their country out. The government needed to get messages across to citizens for different reasons. The government would sometimes want to get other people to go against and hate on other countries.

    They would make posters about other countries giving other people bad messages about those countries. The government would make citizens believe that their enemies were savages. During the war, many lives were taken very easily and quickly so the army was short of men to they needed more to join. Countries were spending an awful lot of money on supplies and machinery during the war and they were in desperate need of more money so they created ads about donating. There were ads on buying war bonds and other ads were about how citizens could help their country save money and use less of certain things.

    Some ads were about saving food. The military needed more medical assistance to help with the wounded soldiers so they used propaganda to get more nurses to volunteer. Propaganda played many tricks on people. Propaganda mislead others into believing that the war was better than it was. The government would create posters that were patriotic and encouraged men to enlist in the war. The posters that were created did not give any background information on what is currently happening in the war it just told people what they should do.

    There were seven tricks of propaganda. One trick was called card stacking. The purpose of card stacking was to make the best case possible for one side and the worst for the opposing viewpoint. Another trick is called bandwagon. That was about persuading the audience to follow the crowd. Testimonial is a trick that used a respected person to approve a product or a cause hoping that people would follow their example. Plain folk was intended to make the audience believe that the spokesperson is someone they can trust and who cares about the people.

    There is a transfer who is meant to use something that we respect such as symbols to stir our emotions and win our approval. Glittery Generality were sweeping statements often slogans or catchy phrases that were used without giving any reason for using them and information or reason. The last trick is name-calling. Name-calling meant to put a bad label on an idea. Propaganda was handled differently in other countries. America entered the war on April 6, 1917. On April 13, 1917, Woodrow Wilson created the committee on public information. George Creel directed the flow of government propaganda on the war. Creel was made head of us committee on public information and the governments by Woodrow Wilson. His task was to convince a divided country of the wisdom of freedom of Wilson’s decision to join the war against Germany. The CPI was made up of 19 subdivisions. Each division focused on a certain type of propaganda. One of the most important elements of the cpi was the division of news. They handed out more than six thousand press releases and more than twenty thousand newspaper columns were filled. Some scholars handed out pamphlets with titles like The German Whisper, and the German war Practices.

    The Division of Pictorial Publicity was donated advertising space by newspapers and magazines for their artwork. They also made powerful posters that were painted in patriotic colors and they were posted on billboards across America. In America moving images have become more popular that still ones. The Division of films made sure that the war was promoted in the cinema. Movies about Germany flooded the theater. One movie called To Hell With The Kaiser was so popular that Massachusetts riot police had to calm down angry mobs who were denied access to the movie.

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