Historiography

1466 Words6 Pages
The techniques of modern propaganda were established in World War 1. During the first World War, the world saw the emergence of mass media playing a prominent role in the transference of war related activities from the Fighting Front to the Home Front. Not only did the mass media play a significant role in informing the public of the war, mass media also played a major part in mobilizing the people for the war effort all across the globe. Through reporting of a controversial war comes inherent bias, and this bias turned into blatant propaganda. The first World War is also known to be the first war in which the government actually assisted in cultivating and perpetuating wartime propaganda in order to ignite nationalism and support for the war. Official propaganda fell into three categories, being directed at the enemy, home or neutral audiences. These categories were then expanded into different forms such as film, atrocity/press, and school/book propaganda. Different historians look at the mobilization of the public through propaganda through these different forms in detail. Countries from both the Allied and Central Powers harnessed these froms of propaganda and used them as a tool to mobilize support for the war effort. The nationalism World War 1 propaganda created also pushed nations to take a leading role in the first World War. Film propaganda was one of the most widely used forms. It could only be affective to neutral or countries on their side because enemy movie theatres would clearly oppose showing a film that bolstered the opposing side’s view. Britain saw film as an opportunity to reach out to the United States and to have Woodrow Wilson step away from his policy of neutrality. Gaining support from the United States b... ... middle of paper ... ... special editors brought out war lessons that depicted the war as either a great endeavor or a great opportunity to develop nationalistic values. Struwwelpeter, a German children’s book, was rewritten for the war as Kriegs-Struwwelpeter. In this book all authority figures, especially parents, represented Germany and Austria, whereas the naughty children represented the enemy nations. Struwwelpeter himself was transformed in the new book into “Bombenpeter,” King Peter I of Serbia, and depicted as a conspirator and bloody murderer. Enemy states were shown not only as wicked but as inferior, and the propaganda message was clear: the enemy states would be defeated, and Germany and her allies would emerge victorious. Children who showed unwavering allegiance to their country were glorified as child heroes. Children of enemy countries were sometimes expelled from schools.
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