Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Leisa D. Meyer
David M. Corlett
Propaganda is a familiar facet of American culture. The federal government has a history of involvement in the formulation and release of propagandistic messages through direct control of the public sector, or influence in the private sector, especially during times of conflict. During World War II the federal government used propaganda conveyed through popular cultural media to create an "us versus them" mentality by releasing information and images that both demonized the enemy and explained the righteousness of the American people and their cause. In doing so, federal officials explicitly and effectively mobilized the population to support the American war effort. Wartime propaganda in the form of radio, film, cartoons, and posters were directly influenced and at times controlled by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration and federal agencies, like the Office of War Information, created by the exigencies of the conflict. Throughout the war years (and even before the United States entered the conflict), there was a release of information that was targeted specifically at the American civilian population in order to garner support for American interests in both the European and Pacific theaters. The distribution of information relating to the war from the federal government to American civilians was carefully formulated to create an American identity based on a set of commonly held values that could be defended.
Higgins, Sarah K., "Creating an American Identity--Propaganda During the Second World War" (2013). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 635.
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