propaganda - Liz deMont 3/30/08 History Propaganda during...

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Liz deMont 3/30/08 History Propaganda during WWI According to the definition of propaganda is “ information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.” 1 Propaganda has existed throughout the history of the United States, since Paul Revere made a painting wrongfully depicted events of the Boston Massacre to demonize the British occupiers of the colonies and increase sympathy for the cause of the patriots. The increased tensions helped the 13 colonies band together to declare their independence and resulted in the American Revolution. Today, during the 21 st century, propaganda is prominently on display in our presidential campaigns to get people to vote for a candidate, to the caricatures surrounding Sadam Husain to demonize him and justify our invasion of Iraq. These and other significant examples of propaganda started during WWI and were used by both opposing sides. Propaganda in the United States during the WWI era, started with efforts to sway public opinion toward the United States entering the war against Germany. Even though the war started in 1914, isolationist public opinion 1
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kept the U.S. out of the hostilities until 1917. There had been much support for the United States to remain isolationist and stay out of “their” war, being fought among the European countries. Then once the U.S. entered into the war, propaganda was used to glorify the allied side and to portray the Germans as evil. Of the Isolationist position, C. Hartley Grattan, author of Why We Fought , says, “Characteristically, the American press congratulated the United States on the fact that it was entirely dissociated from the European situation. It is difficult to name a single figure, even among those who almost immediately became violently pro-Ally, who wrote or said anything which could be interpreted to mean that the United States should take part in the war.” 2
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 112 taught by Professor Lawson during the Spring '08 term at Dean.

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propaganda - Liz deMont 3/30/08 History Propaganda during...

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