Discriminated after the War Ended

The slogan of poster 11: “Help us to help the boys” targeted at Catholics, telling them to donate to National Catholic Council to support the Catholic soldiers. Poster 12 revealed the Jewish symbol with a soldier standing in front of a pile of skeletons and calling out for help. Similar to poster 11, this also called Jewish to come together to assist Jewish soldiers in the U.S. military by donating to the Jewish Welfare Board.

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Poster 13 depicted an African American soldier dressed in a nice uniform holding his sweetheart’s hand. In the background, an army was marching with an American flag. It was designed to get African American to sign up for the armed services. In the bottom of the poster wrote: “colored man is no slacker”. Enlisting in the army is considered to be a masculine activity as protectors of the home front. The poster was trying to get African American to think that joining the army would gain them some respect and prove that they deserve full civil rights.

Poster 11 through 13 aimed specifically at Catholic, Jewish and African American because these groups were subjects of discrimination, violence and have been treated terribly in the 1880s. American citizens were very anti-immigrant; however, as they entered the war, they would need all the support they could get to win this battle. In order to make this happen, the government needed to include all American regardless of race and gender and made them feel equally important in the war effort. These posters were successful in creating a sense of nationalism, harmony, and solidarity among the diverse American population. However, at the same time, these posters created false hope for immigrants or American with foreign descents that they would be treated equally if they proved their loyalty to the nation and enlisted in the war. Little that they know, they would still be segregated and discriminated after the war ended.

The use of propaganda was very effective in arousing patriotism and inspiring all Americans to contribute to fighting the war. To persuade civilians behind the war effort, the government aimed at their heart and their brain, emotionally and logically, to manipulate them to see in certain perspectives. For these propagandas to be effective, there must be a sense of urgency, the enemy has to be dehumanized and civilians needed to feel important, be empowered and inspired to sign up for the military (p.130).

President Wilson’s intent of uniting a heterogeneous nation to prepare for the war with the help of the Committee on Public Information was a victory. However, along with the positive influences, negative consequences followed. The propaganda created a mass hysteria with horrible results. The extreme, inaccurate portrayal of the enemies endangered many Americans and led them to become subjects of abuse and violence. It spread fear and suspicion in people. If one criticized the war efforts, did not report suspicious behavior, or buy war bonds, they would be persecuted and put in prison (p.154 and p.155). Using propagandas to mobilize civilians was necessary for fighting the war, but propagandas exploited stereotypes, dehumanized people, used lies and half-truths to convince the crowd (p.125). There’s no denying that the Committee was successful in creating a wave of patriotism and uniting pluralistic public opinion of America behind the war effort, but perhaps the mobilization has been carried too far resulting in serious negative impacts.

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Discriminated After The War Ended. (2022, Apr 18). Retrieved May 18, 2022 , from

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