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Propaganda in the first and second world wars - Research Paper Example

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Propaganda in the first and second world wars

Governments manage to design propaganda through lying, telling partial truth or exaggerating issues at hand. Governments use propaganda for various reasons during wars, but the bottom in the use of propaganda is to have a competitive advantage over their enemies and win the support of their citizens. Propaganda in the first and second world wars Introduction In the book, Propaganda and Persuasion, propaganda is defined as "a deliberate and systematic attempt that aims at shaping perceptions, manipulating cognition, as well as directing behavior with the ultimate aim of achieving a response, which portrays the intention of the propagandist" (Jowett & O'Donnell, 2011). The main aim in the use of propaganda is make the respondent to act, agree or get along and assist in adopting certain policies. The use of propaganda in times war can be dated back to 1622 when Pope Gregory XV applied this technique to calm religious wars in Alsace, Bohemia, and Palatinate. Therefore, the use of propaganda appeared as the only solution, which would fight down effects of Protestant reformation (Finch, 2000). After the successful use of propaganda during the reign of Pope Gregory XV, propaganda later gained popularity in wars experienced in the nineteenth century. In the first and second world wars, the main practitioners of propaganda were the American and British governments. An American political scientist (Harold Lasswell) published a book that strongly supported the use of propaganda by American despite America’s denial in the use of this technique. Lasswell and his fellow political scientists gave a clear documentation on propaganda, which was even used by the Germans in the 1930s to acquit themselves with skills on the use of propaganda (Finch, 2000). Lasswell's publication pointed out that the application of propaganda during war times was "neither ominous nor insidious." The publication further pointed out that propaganda had become part and parcel of weapons used during wars, and it would remain as a component of wars forever. Lasswell referred propaganda as an act that encompasses the managing attitudes and opinions by directly altering social suggestion, as opposed to changing other conditions either in the environment or in the organism (Finch, 2000). The Americans and the Britons hesitated in accepting the use of propaganda as a legitimate tool in the first and second world wars. However, a British journalist by the name Beatrice Leeds pointed out that propaganda became acceptable the moment Russia got into war with Germany. The governments allied to Russia accepted that the use of propaganda would serve a fabulous deal in fighting the Germans (Marquis, 2009). One notable thing in democratic nations was the dismantling of departments of information. This was due to the perception that information/mass media played a significant role in the spread of propaganda. However, in America, the case was different due to the introduction of an Act that supported the introduction of a propaganda radio network. This network was the "Voice of America", which was assigned the responsibility of transmitting pro-American, democratic opinions across the world without mentioning propaganda. After the First World War, America, Britain, Germany, and the Soviet Union became serious debaters of the impacts of influencing their citizens' opinions through propaganda. In Germany, numerous research laboratories were set to study the ...Show more
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Propaganda in the first and second world wars Author Institution Abstract This paper critically looks into the subject of propaganda in the first and second World wars. Acts that were considered to be propaganda during this period will be addressed in details…
Propaganda in the first and second world wars
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