WCSU Archives - Student Exhibition Space - WestD

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World War I: Selling The War

This exhibit will explore the use of propaganda in order to encourage support and provide justification for American involvement during World War I. Prior to entering the war in 1917, many Americans were reluctant to become involved in the European conflict. American home front support was necessary for funding the American military, boosting morale and encouraging civilian contribution. Propaganda was used in the form of pamphlets, cartoons, letters, and public documents which were all meant for public consumption. Cartoons and illustrations called upon Americans to give their financial support by purchasing war bonds. Propaganda appealed to American patriotism by demonstrating the heroism of the troops and demonizing the enemy to the allies. The CPI laid out the facts of the war and the military that were deemed essential to the knowledge of American citizens. Following the end of the war, further justification was provided by stirring up fear of future threats from the defeated Germans and by commemorating those who had served.