The First World War: Paying For The War

Submitted By nomnomfluff28
Words: 3741
Pages: 15

Michelle Nguyen
Marge Damon
Design Society I
December 5th, 2012
Paying For The War The First World War, also known as “The Great War” was sparked by the fight between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. This spark grew and countries such as the United States of America, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and France. As the war grew so did the need for funding. In order to fund the war, nations begun to use posters to advertise the need for donations from the citizens back home. Posters acted as the tool of communication between citizens back home to the war out on the fields. The goal of these posters was to evoke an emotional connection from the viewer to the war, so that citizens would feel the need to help the war. Emotions in World War I posters can be seen expressed through the use of illustrations, colour and phrases, or all of them used together. Because emotions are a universal language, many posters from different countries shared similar themes in their posters that are based an emotion. Common emotions that can be seen in posters asking for donations from the United States of America, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and France is patriotism, love, guilt and fear. Patriotism is defined as, “love, support, and defense for one’s country”, therefore to be patriotic meant that you loved, supported and defended your country (Patriotism). The First World War brought out the patriotic feelings in people because of the desire to have their nations win the war. Therefore the common use of patriotism as a theme in World War I posters is not a surprise. This emotion is a very smart emotion to choose because it would target all the people who were not fighting in the war but still wanted to contribute to the war. Therefore to be patriotic, people had to make sacrifices for the better of the nation and these sacrifices would lead to victory for the nation (Streib 273). The United States of America utilized the emotion of patriotism in many of their posters to raise funds from citizens. For example, during World War I America advertised tickets called Liberty Bonds, which were sold by agency to citizens as money loans to the war which would later be reimbursed back to them after the war ended (“Liberty Bond”). The United States of America convinced Americans to buy these Liberty bonds by evoking the emotion of patriotism. Americans used iconic symbols in their posters such as the Statue of Liberty to represent America attached with slogans like, “[b]ring your $50 and take home your bond [!]” (Fig 1). This combination creates a strong message of patriotism because by support The Statue of Liberty you were supporting America. The word choice in the phrase could also imply that by bringing in your money you take home your bond not just as the bond itself but as representational bond with America. Instead of using iconic symbols, America also used illustrations of soldiers in posters. A soldier illustrated alongside two children with the phrase, “Help him win by saving and serving. Buy war saving stamps” could imply that by buying war stamps you are helping this soldier win the war and protect your children (Fig 2). This would evoke the feelings of patriotism because it centres on supporting things related to the nation, such as helping the American soldier so he can win the war for America to save American children. The uses of posters were just as common in Canada as they were in the United States of America. During World War I Sir Herbert Ames established the Canadian Patriotic Fund ("Finance and War Production."). The Canadian Patriotic Fund used the slogan, “fight or pay” to urge Canadians to make money donations to support the soldiers at war "Finance and War Production."). In one of the posters used by the Canadian Patriotic Fund organization, they use the play on the word patriotism to use the slogan, “YOU CAN PUT THE “PAY” INTO PATRIOTISM”, to directly send the message of if you pay you are bring patriotic (Fig 3). This