World War II
|When it was suggested that World War II was approaching, Americans did not want
to go to war. Having sustained losses in World War I and only now coming out of an
economic crisis, most Americans thought that energies should be spent here at
home, improving America, instead of becoming involved in war overseas. Even as
the war started in Europe with the invasion of France, many Americans thought that
the U.S. should avoid becoming involved. However, the government recognized that
American participation was necessary, and quickly stepped up pro-war propaganda.
This was not extremely successful until after Pearl Harbor, when the war no longer
seemed comfortably distant but very close to home. At this point, it was necessary
for the American propagandists to continue to convince the public that war was close
at hand. It was also necessary to begin stepping up production and conservation of
materials for the war effort, because the Allies only tremendous advantage was their
great production power. As the war began in earnest, America increased the flood of
propaganda, utilizing especially the radio and visual media, most specifically posters.
Since American leaders realized that the best hope of winning the war was through
increased production and labor, many posters were circulated urging increased
labor and production as well as conservation of materials for the war effort. Since
America's military was especially weak coming out of the depression, it was important
to quickly produce many of the planes and tanks necessary for combat with
Germany and Japan. Also, the quality of American tanks and weapons was much
less than those produced in Germany, so strength in numbers was vital to victory.
Since the Axis nations had been preparing for war for several years by the outbreak
of war, it was extremely important for the Allies to close the gap in military forces.
During World War II, America produced some of the most successful propaganda
campaigns in history. The pushes for increased production, labor, and conservation
may well have won the war for America.