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The War of 1812: Propaganda Posters

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David Jaffer

on 24 March 2011

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Transcript of The War of 1812: Propaganda Posters

The War of 1812 When we finish learning about the War of 1812, you will have an assignment This is non-negotiable however... You will have a lot of freedom as to how you complete the assignment These are examples of what are commonly referred to as propaganda posters: What do you think the function of these posters is? What thoughts popped into your head when you saw the posters? Who can tell me what "propaganda" means? From Wikipedia:

"Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position." "As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented." "The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of political warfare." For me, the most intriguing part of that whole thing was:

"...to produce an emotional rather than rational response." During WWII, a lot of American-made propaganda posters were undeniably racist. Remember, the appeal is to the emotional, not to the rational. If you are at war with a country and depict their people a certain way, you are aligning values to all people of that ethnicity.

For instance: American-made propaganda circa WWII depicted the Japanese like this: Obviously, this type of stuff is designed to distort perceptions of the Japanese. This is how propaganda works. The average American citizen was taught to fear and distrust the Japanese. The assignment you are going to complete at the end of our lessons on the War of 1812 is to create a propaganda poster. You will use your understanding of the major causes, events, personalities and results of the War of 1812, and synthesize that into one poster. You will receive a formal handout and rubric next week.
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