Propaganda can be words, posters, art, music, movies and other types of entertainment to persuade the mindsets of a group of people at one time. The Government knew that it could not be successful in the war if the people of the country did not believe in what they were fighting for. Americans were not thrilled about joining a war Knowing this the governments used the CPI to help make it clear to america that the reason for fighting germany was just. Propaganda was used to make america think germany and everything about germany was evil. Everything that had anything to do with germany was taking down, scratched off and thrown away
Posters seemed to be the biggest source america used to use propaganda. All kinds of posters were made to illustrate different meanings of the war. Out of all the countries involved in the war america produced the most poster propaganda out of any other country. One example was a poster that showed America is portrayed as a young innocent girl, fast asleep. Draped in the stars and stripes, the poster urges Americans to become alert to the realities of war and the danger of the enemy, having presumably been unaware of them up to this point. The image created here is one of an America which was ignorant before, blissfully unaware of the horrors of war and, more importantly, the necessity to enter it(mcfadden pg 10). Religion was also heavily illustrated in posters. The CPI used religious type posters to give the religious mindsets a reason to relate to the war. Making it seem as if it was the right thing to do to fight for their country. In the poster “Our Grestest Mother” A woman is illustrated as if she is virgin marry holding a child. Almost as if the lady is on the same level as virgin mary. Stating that the women of america need to be fought for. The posters would make it seem as if you were doing a wrong towards your country and your religion to not fight.
One of the most enduring legacies of the CPI is the production of mass budget films ( Mcfadden 2012 pg. 14). All movies were reviewed before launch to make sure there was no negative images towards the country. The most high profile films which were produced for distribution in america were Pershing’s Crusaders, America’s Answer and Under Four Flags (Creel 1920, p. 117) . like all other films these were reviewed also before being published Following on from the religious themed posters, the film also reinforces the idea that America has a religious duty to take part in the war, as a Christian nation( Mcfadden 2012 pg 15). The film division of the CPI is no different from the posters they created. It was to ensure the idea that america must join the war and fight for the country.
There was also a group of volunteers who read speeches before and after movies.This group was called the Four Minute Men and was organized in june 16 1917.. The CPI appointed a man named William McCormick Blair to lead the division of volunteers. The speeches were based on certain things the CPI had prepared for them to say. Not just movies, the speeches were at churches, bars and cafes. Topics varied from ‘What Our Enemy Really Is’, ‘Unmasking German Propaganda’ and ‘Why We Are Fighting’ (Creel 1920, p. 85). Contests were held in schools up and down the country to select who would get the opportunity to read them out (Creel 1920, p. 92). The speeches are an attempt to portray the War as a grassroots movement, one which the American people have demanded and are…