There’s a certain art to propaganda, and in this lesson we’re going to dissect posters to better understand their message.
Using WWI propaganda posters, we’re going to understand how America went from a nation of neutrality to one that became united in joining the war over in Europe. This idea of neutrality was further underscored by the top song in the spring of 1915: “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” However, following key events: the sinking of the Lusitania, explosions in New Jersey munitions factories, and other acts of aggression, President Wilson declared war, and propaganda became a way to rally a nation.
Using images from the Propaganda: Selling a War exhibition, we’re going to practice our document analysis skills. Each propaganda poster has been divided into several sections. By doing this, we are forced to focus on a smaller section and notice more details than if we were looking at the image as a whole. Use the provided propaganda poster images while following these guiding questions to work through each image section then the image as a whole.
Can’t see the slides? Download them here.
Answer keys available at the bottom of the page.
If you like these resources, please consider making a donation to support Roberson as we work to provide you with more educational materials.