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Department of History & Political Science
HST 1010 – World History II
Propaganda Posters Paper
For your next assignment, I want you to write a paper on the propaganda posters that all the major combatants produced in the First World War. The advertising industry, public relations business, and the shaping of public opinion received an enormous boost as a result of the war – so much so that every historian writing about postwar Western society in the 1920s feels the need to comment upon it.
So, how do these posters shape public opinion?
· How were the needs of “total war” reflected in the posters?
· What view of warfare do they project?
· How do they appeal to/shape public opinion?
· How are issues of gender, masculinity, tradition, race, class, and nationalism expressed, or are they?
You may focus on none or all of these potential avenues. The point is to craft a well-written paper that explores the purpose and appeal of what were ubiquitous posters in the combatant countries.
You cannot hope to write this paper without being familiar with the historical context, some of which you will have heard in class but which is best accessed in chapter 20 of your textbook (esp. pp. 880-91). All the posters you need to write this paper – from Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the United States – are available at If you use another source, be sure you’re using posters from World War I, not World War II (they’re quite different). For example, a search for World War I propaganda posters on Google Images will also yield multiple images for World War II. Regardless of which source you use, you must footnote it and supply a copy of every poster you discuss.
Your paper should be double-spaced and at least four pages – that is, 1200-plus words – in length. Leave one-inch margins on all sides of the paper, and please use a 14-point, “clean” font (that is, Tahoma, Arial, Calibri or some such typeface); if you want to save paper, you’re welcome to print on both sides. Remember to include your name and the course title and number on a cover sheet or at the head of the first page. The paper is due in class Tuesday, March 19.
Finally, I refer you to the warning on the syllabus about plagiarism: you must upload your paper to Further instructions on that later.

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