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American Propaganda Essay

1147 words - 5 pages

American Propaganda
Propaganda has proven to be a valuable tool when trying to persuade others during a war. It has proven to bring out the best qualities in a nation, and it has also shown the ability to voice the true feelings of the people. For example, propaganda has been used to increase patriotism in times of conflict in America, and it has also been used to dissuade others from wanting bloodshed. “Uncle Sam” is a large and well-known piece of propaganda in America, and it has been used with countless different mediums to display the true outlook of the citizens. James Montgomery Flagg was responsible for illustrating the classic "I Want YOU for U.S. Army" poster, and an anonymous ...view middle of the document...

When the poster revived in World War II, however, there was a very real need for soldiers. The United States used this poster to bring out a sense of responsibility within the people of the land, and it worked marvelously. The U.S. Army reached over 11,200,000 members during World War II ("US Army Divisions in World War II").
The “I Want OUT” poster was a very effective piece of American propaganda as well. This time, however, the government did not produce or distribute the work. On the contrary, it was a message sent from the American people to the government concerning the Vietnam War. This message stated that if you were a real American patriot, you would save Uncle Sam from this struggle that he so obviously does not want to participate any longer in. In the poster, Uncle Sam is covered in battle wounds. This displayed that America had weakened and lost much during the war. He is also shown with a tattered suit and tie, instead of his usual classy attire, showing how the United States has lost significant face with many other countries of the world. The poster was “published anonymously by the Committee to Unsell the War, in a multi-media-donated campaign of 1971 protesting against the US military involvement in Indo-China” ("I Want Out"). The image urges its viewer to respond by invoking a sense of responsibility to help end the war at all costs. This could have meant by protesting, rioting, creating more anti-war propaganda, or doing anything else that was considered to be “anti-war.” Thus, both connections and vast differences can be easily seen between the two posters.
The most significant similarity between the two posters is Uncle Sam himself. He is still portrayed as the exact same character. They both show him wearing a red, white, and blue suit with a top hat. Both posters invoke a strong sense of patriotism toward the United States, as well as encouraging the people to step up and embrace their responsibilities as American citizens. They are also similar in that they both very successfully achieved their goals. Both inspired higher thought and higher action. However, the messages sent by the two posters are entirely opposite of one another. The “I Want YOU For U.S. Army” poster encourages war, because the public’s opinion was pro-war. Everyone in America new that the United...

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