Americans did not want to go to war when they heard of World War 2 because the losses they suffered during the First World War were still fresh in their minds. They were of the opinion that most of their energy should be spent recovering from the crisis by improving America and not going to war again. …
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This is why the government had to use all means to persuade them to support its cause in the Second World War and this was done through the propagandists. The American propagandists struggled hard to persuade Americans to fully support the war to the end and ensure that the US emerges victorious. They used different forms of media to pass their message to the masses with the common objective being the fomentation of hatred to the enemy and backing the allied forces. They sold war bonds and encouraged Americans to work hard to produce more so that the soldiers could be well supplied with the basic needs and weapons. This paper focuses on the purpose of World War II propaganda posters that were used prior to and during the US involvement in the war.
Snow (2010) asserts that the United States employed the use of posters more than any other media of broadcasting in spreading the war propaganda. In fact it produced the highest number of posters compared to the other countries that took part in the Second World War. These posters had different themes which are as follows: Recruitment, secrecy, conservation, home efforts and production. Their placement was done strategically in areas that didn’t have paid advertisements like in schools, railroad stations, restaurants, post offices and retail stores. Apartment buildings and windows of private homes also played a role as they were used for the smaller posters. These are locations that no other media of propaganda could be used but the message had to be passed to the Americans nonetheless. The government delegated the duty of producing and distributing these posters to the Office of War Information (OWI) Bureau of Graphics. The common feature of the messages circulated in these posters was positivity as they emphasized tradition, duty and patriotism throughout the campaign (Figure 2). There was need to step up the production process and conserve materials for the war effort because this was a very strong weapon that the allied forces relied on. Figure 3 was used a lot and it was among the first posters to be used by the American propagandists. Its message to the Americans was that the threat of the Nazi is close home than they are aware of. The dark Nazi swastika is looming over a group of innocent patriotic American children who are not even aware of what is going on. Americans were being persuaded that through buying the bonds and making their contributions to the war efforts, the fate of these innocent children could be changed as they could be saved from such evils. The viewers are being urged to buy the bonds because the government was just emerging from depression and did not have the money to stage war on multiple fronts (Jowett & O'Donnell, 2006). They were therefore being urged to help the government fight this war through their contributions as it was geared towards bringing peace to America. This poster was very vital during the early days of the war but its use declined in the course of the war when it became apparent that the Nazi threat was on the brink of elimination; financial help was therefore not required at this time. Figure 4 displays an image showing a man dying because someone talked; enemies had send spies to the United States therefore people had to be very cautious with what they say to people they don’t trust. The American government believed that a small leakage of information to the Germans would be terrible news to the Americans as the
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