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American Propaganda During World War II

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America treaded the path towards World War II with trepidation, until its people were convinced that action must be taken when the incident of Pearl Harbor occurred. From that point on, American citizens began mobilizing to aid their nation in hopes for victory against the Axis Powers. In order to keep up morale certain measures, such as the use of false advertising, were imposed. The influence of American propaganda during World War II led to an exploration of government authority through the use of censorship, exploitation of women, and incentive to contribute to the war effort. Before the United States entered World War II, Americans had deemed isolationism to be the answer to European conflict. While Theodore Roosevelt desired to take action,…show more content…
In order for them to support the war, the government used propaganda to evoke feelings of nationalism. While the United States joined the war as an opportunity to get revenge on Japan, propaganda was often censored to guarantee that Americans only saw the damage Japanese soldiers had done to Americans. To insure that Americans would not be put off and maintain the desire for war, images of dead Americans were prevented from being published to the public. (“Supporting Evidence”). Government officials knew that citizens were unable to withstand the gruesome photos taken of the realities of the war. Showing real images that featured the outcomes of war would have caused Americans to become disheartened thus decreasing American morale. To insure victory, the government enforced the use of censorship throughout the nation. In one propaganda poster, the caption reads “Let’s Censor Our Conversation About the War” (“Censored”). The propaganda poster revealed the extent of which the government kept a eye and ear to all American citizens as an attempt to preserve American loyalty. The government was able to use its political power to its full extent by withholding valuable pieces of information, which revealed the extent of its influence. “After…Pearl Harbor, most were convinced to support the war” (“World War II…show more content…
To gain their support, the public image of women had to be changed. More propaganda was produced, encouraging women to enter the workforce as a way to continue the progression of the United States as their men went off to fight. Propaganda targeted towards women usually consisted of an emotional tone rather than an authoritative one. “To mobilize women… government propaganda needed… central theme… concentrated on patriotism and emotional appeals” (Mathis). It was known by the government that the best way to persuade women into aiding the war effort was to appeal to their emotions; women were angry that their loved ones were forced to go off to war to partake in a fight that was believed America had no need to be in. Yet, women were expected to set aside their personal beliefs to insure that America could still make further advancements without its men. However, women still complied because they knew the responsibility laid with them to keep the nation running. Still, much of propaganda had a purpose to motivate women to lend a helping hand in the war. As Susan Mathis said, “The patriotic appeal had two aspects… ‘do your part’... ‘a soldier may die if you don’t do your part’...” (Mathis). As a way to boost morale, guilt was another essential aspect into influencing Americans to want to win the war. The American government subtly blackmailed women into doing what was necessary for a victory without appearing
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