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Persuasion through Propoganda

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Suzanne Troiani

on 7 April 2015

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Transcript of Persuasion through Propoganda

Persuasion through Propaganda
Where it Began
● The word propaganda originally referred to the biological reproduction of plants and animals
● Modern propaganda began in the 17th century with a special division of the Catholic Church
○ Established to spread Catholic doctrine throughout the world
○ to win new converts
○ to stem the rising tide of Protestantism
● Propaganda came to connote the systemic spread of religious ideas to shape mass audiences
● 18th and 19th centuries: propaganda became more politically important due to:
○ growth of literacy
○ liberal demands for freedoms of
■ press
■ speech
■ assembly
■ representative governments
● Governments no longer relied purely on censorship for social control
○ regimes used newspapers to spread propaganda as official “news”

WWI
● WWI: propaganda became a powerful weapon for shaping public opinion
○ All major belligerent governments employed writers, artists and filmmakers
■ their messages aimed at
● mobilizing populations for war
● weakening enemy morale
● winning audience in neutral countries
● Post WWI propaganda began to be identified with lies and manipulation
● Some American leaders feared unregulated propaganda would destroy democracy

Adolf Hitler: one of the most well-known propaganda experts in war history
● He dedicated an entire section to war propaganda in his book Mein Kampf
○ He described the purpose of war propaganda
■ to support Germany in the war and help bring victory
● Using propaganda to spreading his dislike of the Jews
○ Hitler gained the support of his army and country
○ He caused the breakout of WWII
○ Result: the Holocaust and the extermination of 6 million Jews

Theodor Seuss Geisel AKA Dr. Suess: Prolific creator of children’s books and wartime propaganda
● Political cartoonist for the New York daily newspaper from 1941-1943
● Dr. Seuss presented progressive opinions with entertaining artistry
● He used his cartoons to support the war effort and to
○ convey social messages
○ fight against racism and anti-semitism
● The 1940s was considered the Golden Age of comics
○ clearly drawn lines between “good” and “evil” helped define the superhero concept
● Dr. Seuss’ political caricatures were not always “politically correct” by today’s standards
● His progressive outlook is displayed among his propaganda and his children’s books


Walt Disney: created animated propaganda during WWII
● Disney’s goal: to educate Americans about their enemies
● Disney’s propaganda included Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bambi and Pluto
● One film “Der Fuehrer’s Face” won the 1943 Oscar for best animated short film
○ Donald Duck wakes up from a “Nutzi Land” nightmare exclaiming, “Oh boy, am i glad to be a citizen of the United States of America!”
○ The movie ends with a tomato landing on Hitler’s face
○ Disney said it was “made in service of the US government“
● Some Disney wartime films were clearly directed at adults
○ In the 1940s, 2/3 of Americans visited a theater weekly
● In one film, Donald Duck encourages Americans to pay their taxes
○ “Taxes will keep democracy on the march”



Propaganda Definition: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
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