American Propaganda and the Suppression of Dissent in World War I

2876 WordsOct 1, 201312 Pages
American Propaganda and the Suppression of Dissent in World War I “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion. “ – Dwight D. Eisenhower On June 28, 1914, the Archduke of Austria-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated. That event marked the first phase of World War I (Grayzel 10). Soon afterward nations throughout Europe announced declarations of war. By the end of October countries as far away as Japan, China and Brazil had become involved (Grayzel 11). Susan R. Grayzel in the “Introduction: The First World War and the Making of a Modern, Global Conflict” from The First World War: A Brief History with Documents”, explores a variety of contributing reasons for the Great War (Grayzel 9). The causes most…show more content…
4). Even before entering the war the government had more than 5,000 agencies, and had developed a huge appetite for money and credit (Holcombe par. 5). The war only further amplified these needs. During the war the armed forces grew to over four million officers and men (Holcombe par. 9). Materials to support an army of this size to include training, housing, transportation, food, clothing and medical concerns were considerable. More importantly the army and navy needed modern arms and tons of ammunition. Consequently, taxes increased as federal revenue requirements rose by nearly 400 percent between fiscal 1917 and fiscal 1919 (Holcombe par. 10). When America declared war on April 6, 1917, the war departments sent President Wilson a message that they would need the full support of the public to succeed in the war effort. America was staring into the face of total war. Mobilizing a disparate population and acquiring the necessary capital to equip the military needed a communications campaign on an unprecedented scale. One memo submitted by the secretaries of state stated, “America’s great present needs are confidence, enthusiasm, and service and these needs will not be met unless every citizen is given the feeling of partnership …” (Murphy 17). President Wilson responded rapidly to these reports, and within one week of declaring war the Committee on Public Information (CPI) was created. From the very start Wilson did not

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