American Propaganda in the World War 1 – Report Example

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The paper "American Propaganda in World War 1" is a good example of a report on history. Organized societies constitute persons, each ceding a portion of their liberties for the smooth functioning of the whole. For such a dynamic to work, effective communication is essential in the exchange of ideas, as well as making concessions. Even in aristocratic societies, some form of basic communication is essential, where the ruling class has to re-emphasize their control over their subjects. Propaganda is a popular means of reaching the masses, employed by governments to rally the population around a central viewpoint on important national matters.

In this context, propaganda constitutes the sum of materials employed aimed at manipulating a society’ s opinions on a central theme. World War I represented a monumental chapter in the world’ s history, where different regimes engaged in propaganda aimed at swaying populations towards the war effort. The Uncle Sam poster used in persuading the American people into supporting the war effort is an apt illustration of propaganda application by the government. The poster depicts Uncle Sam, an acronym for the American government, pointing towards the audience, with the words ‘ I Want YOU For US Army, nearest recruiting station (Appendix 2). ’ This campaign analysis hopes to place this poster as propaganda material in the context of the cultural, political, and media dynamics while also illustrating why it is an effective propaganda material in the context of its use. Review of literature The behavior of the Mass Media in the United States Stratification and functioning of societies depend largely on the means of communication employed, especially in maintaining the hierarchical structure of societies.

An understanding of how the elite communicates with the common person.

The American society is a liberal democratic society, where the liberal pluralist view on political systems suggests the existence of a healthy exchange of ideas. Within this context, there is an abundance of opinions, worldviews, and policy suggestions offering variety for the public (Mullen & Klaehn, 2010). The most popular of the existing propositions inevitably reflect on the public policy adopted, as well as the political systems that govern the society. The significance of media systems in a liberal pluralist society such as the United States exhibits through its role as the ‘ fourth estate’ , providing control over the exercise of leadership.

In understanding the propaganda used during the First World War, an understanding of how the media works are imperative. Marxist ideology, which holds that ‘ the ideas of the ruling class are the ruling ideas’ inspires theories examining the role of the media in modern democratic societies (Mullen, 2010). The propaganda model presents a useful framework for understanding the function of media in American societies, where it explores the relationship between the governing public institutions, powerful elite citizens as well as the market.

Through the propaganda model, the media comes across as a creation of the operational context of news production, where media serves as propaganda vessels in liberal-democratic societies (McFadden, 2012). Context of the Propaganda Campaign for World War 1 Posters made an integral part of the propaganda campaign for Americans to join in the war effort. At the beginning of World War 1, the American Society exhibited a relatively neutral stand to the war going on in Europe. Nonetheless, circumstances abroad forced the president to join the United States in the Allied war effort.

Getting the United States into the war presented an enormous challenge, given the democratic liberal-pluralist nature of the society, and especially given that, the underlying national mood was against joining the European war effort. President Wilson, while originally of the opinion against joining the war, needed a quick means of turning pacifist citizens into warmongers, validating America’ s entry into the war. Much of the media propaganda material in use during this campaign is attributed to Wilson’ s media strategist known as George Creel (McFadden, 2012).

Creel’ s ability to highlight the major points strengthening his arguments, despite the cause defined him as the ideal journalist and muckraker. The application of propaganda in mobilizing support for the World War 1 was a conscious effort, where its presentation seemed factual, and intended to influence the people into making decisions that the state intended.

References

Bick, R., 2013. Private Grief and Public Propaganda: An Analysis of the Authorship of Rudyard Kipling during the First World War. Journal of Publishing Culture, pp. 1-8.

Cook, J.-R., 2014. WORLD WAR I: 100 YEARS LATER: The Posters That Sold World War I to the American Public, s.l.: SMITHSONIAN.

Grubach, Paul. “World War I Atrocity Propaganda and the Holocaust: Is There a Lesson Here?” The Revisionist. 2002. Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust. 7 Dec. 2009.

McFadden, P., 2012. American Propaganda and the First World War: Megaphone or Gagging Order?. e-Sharp, 1(19), pp. 0-32.

Kennedy D. M, (2004), Over here: the First World War and American society. Oxford [u.a.], Oxford Univ. Press

Mullen, A. & Klaehn, J., 2010. The Herman–Chomsky Propaganda Model: A Critical Approach to Analysing Mass Media Behaviour. Sociology Compass, 4(4), p. 215–229.

New York Times 8 May 1915: 3. The New York Times, ProQuest Information and Learning, Lincoln High School Lib., Tallahassee, FL. 28 Mar. 2005

“Propaganda – Total War, 1917-1945.” Encyclopedia of the American Foreign Relations, 2009, < http://www.americanforeignrelations.com/O-W/PropagandaTotal-war-1917-1945.html>

Sanders, M.L. 1975, “Wellington House and British Propaganda during the First World War” The Historical Journal (18) 119-146

Tunc, T. E. (2012). Less Sugar, More Warships: Food as American Propaganda in the First World War. The War in History, 19(2), 193-216

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