Propaganda is to a Democracy

What Violence is to a Dictatorship

Propaganda in the U.S.

Propaganda Technique: TESTIMONIAL
When some respected celebrity (or alternatively someone generally hated) claims that an idea or product is good (or bad).

Audience: American Civilians at home.

In this WWI propaganda poster, we have the giant boot of the very famous personification of the American government, Uncle Sam, poised above a seemingly terrified subject. That subject is a member of the Kaiser, a German, who appears to be fleeing for his life, arms up held up in protection.The powerful caption "Help Uncle Sam Stamp Out The Kaiser!" is prominantely featured. Etched on Uncle Sam's boot is the words "3rd Liberty Loan". At the bottom, "BUY U.S. GOV'T BONDS", a common propaganda message from the time, is stated almost as if someone was yelling.

This poster is very patriotic. It conveys a mood of supremacy and power, using yellow and red to set a bright, positive tone. Similar to Rosie the Rivetor's "We can do it" vibe, this poster was made to impact the target audience (common American folk of the time) in a positive way that inflicts a rousing spirit to those who see it. The bright colors, silly pose of fear on the German and the comforting symbol of Uncle Sam are all used as pursuasive techniques.

The explicit message of the poster is clear; if you buy government bonds according to the 3rd Liberty Loan, the Kaiser will be defeated. The word "help" is used in a way that states that the U.S. is already winning and just needs that extra boost, leading viewers to believe this was probably made mid-war. And that even though they're at home and not in the trenches, they can make a difference and help win the war.

This poster shows nationalistic values because of the notion of "stamping" or "killing" another person. The poster is slightly gruesome in this way, as we can only imagine what would happen to the poor German if that boot came down on him. Killing is typically a sign of ultranationalism.

"The Propagandist purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human" --Aldous Huxley

"All propaganda is a lie, even when it's telling the truth."-- George Orwell

Germany's Skillful Ploy

Propaganda Technique: PLAIN FOLKS and GLITTERING GENERALITY
Audience: Mostly women


Kriegsanleihe, helft den Hütern eures Glückes. This poster shows a man holding a sword with his other arm around his wife and baby. The text says, "War loans help the guardians of your happiness." This would spark emotions in citizens. Sending in and buying war bonds would help protect their men serving their country.