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WW1 - How successful was propeganda in the encouraging enlistment and ensuring public sport?

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Edward Phillips 17 May 2003 HOW SUCCESSFUL WAS PROPAGANDA IN ENCOURAGING ENLISTMENT AND ENSURING PUBLIC SUPPORT? 'Propaganda' is one-sided communication designed to influence people's thinking and actions. It is the word used to describe the ways in which the government tries to persuade people to follow their cause and win people's acceptance of their views, by emphasising only the good points of the government and the bad points of the opposition. It comes from the Latin name of a group of Roman Catholic cardinals, the 'Congregatio de Propaganda Fide' (Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith). Pope Gregory XV established the committee, which was called 'propaganda' for short, in 1622 to supervise missionaries, and gradually the word came to mean any effort to spread a belief. When World War I broke out in August 1914, Lord Horatio Kitchener, who had been a famous British soldier, became a member of the government and was promoted to field marshal. He then became the War Minister. David Lloyd George was in charge of setting up a War Propaganda Bureau, the WPB, partly in order to persuade men to join the forces, but propaganda could be used for a number of purposes:- * To keep up morale at the Home Front and encourage people to give their time and money to the war effort * To portray the enemy as an evil that needs to be fought * To recruit more soldiers * To stop information from ...read more.


Some people were totally against the war. Some did not want to fight a war against Germany. Some were pacifists and felt that all war was wrong. These people had a very difficult time as ordinary people would stop men who weren't in uniform and ask why they weren't in the services. Sometimes they handed them white feathers - a sign of cowardice and they were called 'conchies', short for conscientious objectors. There were a lot of casualties during the war and despite the huge number of volunteers, they still needed more men to fight. The government brought in conscription in 1916 which meant that all men between 18 and 41 had to enlist. Men with a conscientious objection to the war did not have to join up, but they did have to go to a tribunal. This poster is very tough on the emotions - it concentrates on the guilt of men who have not signed up to force them into fighting for their country and not letting their family down. To keep up morale at the Home Front, 'propaganda' post cards were printed, giving a very one- sided view of what was happening. They all showed the Allies in a good light and on the road to victory. Others mocked the Germans. If the German soldiers saw these post card, they would be demoralised and disheartened. ...read more.


Have you ever thought why you are fighting? You are fighting to glorify Hindenburg, to enrich Krupp. You are struggling for the Kaiser, the Junkers, and the militarists.... They promise you victory and peace. You poor fools! It was promised your comrades for more than three years. They have indeed found peace, deep in the grave, but victory did not come! . . . It is for the Fatherland.... But what is your Fatherland? Is it the Crown Prince who offered up 600,000 men at Verdun? Is it Hindenburg, who with Ludendorff is many kilometers behind the front lines making more plans to give the English more cannon fodder? Is it Krupp for whom each year of war means millions of marks? Is it the Prussian Junkers who still cry over your dead bodies for more annexations? No, none of these is the Fatherland. You are the Fatherland.... The whole power of the Western world stands behind England and France and America! An army of ten million is being prepared; soon it will come into the battle. Have you thought of that, Michel?" The British government wanted to spread propaganda in as many ways as they possibly could, to as many people as they could - whether it be to the allied side to support them, the people at home to get them to join up or the enemy to dishearten them. Propaganda played a big part in the war and was a great success. We may not have been able to win without it. 2 ...read more.

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