Learning objective – to identify how the government used propaganda during the First World War. I can explain how propaganda was used during the First World War. Level 5 I can describesome of the ways propaganda was used in the First World War. Level 4 I can explain and analyse the different ways propaganda was used by the government during the First World War. Levels 6 and 7
Why was propaganda posters so important to the war effort? Most people did not have radios and televisions had not been invented. Some people still could not read and write. Posters were a very popular and powerful way of grabbing people’s attention.
What was white and black propaganda? White propaganda played on someone’s feelings to make them ‘do the right thing’, such as volunteering to join the army. Black propaganda aimed to create a hatred to persuade them to do something, such as a hatred towards the Germans would persuade men to volunteer and fight.
What was the push and pull effects of propaganda? By 1916, 2.5 million men had volunteered to fight. Some felt ‘pushed’ or pressured into joining up either by friends and family or through the fact that it was seen as the right thing to do. Others felt ‘pulled’ into joining up attracted by the excitement that war seemed to bring and serving King and country.
What were ‘pals battalions’? The government felt that fighting alongside friends and neighbours would help persuade more men to volunteer. Towns competed with each other forming ‘pal’s battalions’ made up of friends, workmates, teammates and families. Although this recruitment strategy, it had tragic consequences as entire male communities were cut down at such places as the Somme.
Why did the government need to conscript men? By 1916, the flood of volunteers had almost run dry. The government was forced to conscript men. This meant that all men aged between 18 and 41 could be forced to join up. This raised an extra 2.5 million men.
Why did some men refuse to be conscripted into the army? Men who refused to be conscripted were called conscientious objectors. There were around 16,000 of these conchies. The main reasons why men refused were because of their political or religious beliefs. However, although they refused to fight most were willing to help the war effort in some way.