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HIS 211 - U.S. History: Reconstruction to the Present - Textbook

Assignment: WWI Propaganda

WWI was famous for its propaganda posters.  In fact, WWI is the reason the word “propaganda” is now a dirty word.  At the start of the war it wasn’t, but as governments lied, withheld information, and manipulated the public, propaganda gained the negative connotation that it has today.  Here are two posters from WWI; one American, one British.

For each poster write a short paragraph that answers the following:

  1. What message is the poster trying to get across?  How does the poster express that message?
  2. What emotions does the poster try to stimulate?
Poster with the words "Destroy this Mad Brute" written over a roaring gorilla who is carrying a distressed white woman in his arms. Below the image, the poster says, "Enlist." The gorilla wears a helmet labeled "militarism" and is holding a bloody club labeled "kultur."

Destroy this mad brute- Enlist – U.S. Army. By Harry R. Hopps, (1869-1937).



















First World War recruiting poster, playing on the guilt of those who did not volunteer, by showing a little girl sitting on her daddy's lap and a boy playing with military figurines on the ground.


Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War? from the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, 1915.


CC Licensed content, original

  • WWI Propaganda Assignment. Authored by: Chris Thomas. Provided by: Reynolds Community College. LicenseCC BY: Attribution