By 1917, Americans increasingly became more concerned about the possible implications that would come with a German victory. With at-home values in mind, the United States presented propaganda to use as a call to action. For the first time ever, whole nations were involved in combat, and not merely professional armies. This medium was used to dehumanize the enemy and portray the growing hatred against them.
In order to convince the masses that there was a just cause behind the brutal and bloody conflict, propaganda was utilized, not only a means to gain cooperation from countries that remained neutral, but also to increase support of current allies, maintain people at home informed, and influence their opinion about the war. The following slideshow portrays images of WWI propaganda used in the United States:
"Destroy this mad brute"
During WWI, American propaganda depicted Germans as barbaric and violent-natured.
(Image: “Destroy This Mad Brute propaganda poster” by US government related, H.R. Hopps 1917. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons).
"Lend as they fight"
Sidney Riesenberg, a professional illustrator commissioned to create US Navy and Liberty Bond propaganda posters, is regarded as one of the greatest illustrators of the World War I era.
(Image: “Liberty Bond – 9” by Riesenberg, Sidney H. Public domain via Wikimedia Common).
"I own a liberty bond"
The “I own a liberty bond” buttons were distributed as a means to encourage American patriotism on the home front during WWI.
(Image: “Liberty Bond – 1” by Edwards & Deutsch Litho. Co. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons).
"Beat back the Hun with Liberty Bonds"
Liberty Bonds were promoted to Americans as a patriotic duty, and were first issued in 1917.
(Image: “German soldier with bloody bayonet and fingers” by Strothmann, F. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons).
"Only the navy can stop this"
The negative imagery used to dehumanize the German military led to the persecution of German-Americans during the war.
(Image: Image credit: “William Allen Rogers – Only the Navy Can Stop This” by William Allen Rogers for the US Navy Bureau, NY. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons).
"Anymore victories, Papa?"
American animosity towards Germany was used as a means to attack political opponents during the war. The above cartoon implies that enemy forces favor New York City mayoral candidates Morris Hillquit and John F. Hylan.
(Image: “New York Times cartoon 4 Nov 1917” by Marcus for The New York Times. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons).
"Over the top for you"
During WWI, the US Government released four issues of Liberty Loans. The Third Liberty Loan Act allowed the government to issue $3 billion worth of war bonds at a rate of 4.5% interest for up to 10 years.
(Image: “Over the top for you – Buy U.S. gov’t bonds, Third Liberty Loan” by Riesenberg, Sidney H. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons).
Featured image credit: American soldiers on the Piave front hurling a shower of hand grenades into the Austrian trenches by Sgt. A. Marcioni. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.