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updated 9 months ago

Analyse the Australian government's use of propaganda for control on the home front in World War 1.

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1 Answer
updated 10 months ago

That is a very interesting question because in a certain way australian propaganda set a standard of a recruiting rhetoric that was used later in Europe (during WWII and further). Australia as one of the British dominions was automatically involved in the war since the questions of Australian foreign policy were under the authority of the British Empire.

According to the famous expression of Australian Prime Minister Joseph Kook, when the Empire is at war, so also is Australia. So for the government it was very important to develop an effective scheme of a propaganda to make the citizens support governmental position. What is a war propaganda and how it works you can read in this paper. And precisely about the propaganda in World War I - here and here.

There were two primary goals war propaganda in Australia:

  1. As it mentioned above, it was important to convince people that not only Empire is in danger but their interests, as inextricably linked to it, are too threatened.
  2. The second purpose, that was as important as the first one, was to encourage as many men as possible to join the armed forces.

Three basic motifs of a propaganda were used. The first one was a motif of a shame. Hundreds of war posters said something like

It is nice in the surf but what about the man in the trenches

Are you content to hide yourself behind the blood of men and the sorrow of women?

Take your share of your troubles going and never go back on your mate


The second motif was patriotic. Where the object of patriotic attitude was not Australia, but the British Empire:

The Empire needs you!

Australia has promised 50,000 more men, will you help us keep that promise?


And the third motif was promising of adventures:

Free trip to Europe! Full of adventure and interest, forming the greatest event of their lives [...]


Frankly, I was amazed to see Australian war posters. Some of them are just examples of beautiful copywriting, professional design and marketing. No kidding! Chem them out here.



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