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Making America: A History of the United States, Brief Second Edition
Carol Berkin, Christopher L. Miller, Robert W. Cherny, James L. Gormly, W. Thomas Mainwaring
Primary Sources

Introduction | Questions to Consider | Source | Related Links

The Visual Image of the Enemy

The United States did not immediately enter World War I. Concerned with getting entangled in European problems, some U.S. citizens needed great persuasion to dedicate themselves to making the world "safe for democracy." Protests against entering the war were most strongly heard in the nation's heartland. In an attempt to prepare the nation for war, the federal government used propaganda to encourage reluctant citizens to join its efforts. The U.S. Army distributed this poster to encourage Americans to join the war effort.

Political Cartoon
  1. What did the text of the poster ask people to do? Given the time period, which people do you think they had in mind?

  2. What did "This Mad Brute" represent? How can you tell?

  3. What did the lady he is carrying represent?

  4. Do you think that this approach to get people to enlist in the U.S. Army was successful? Justify your answer

  5. Can you describe any propaganda you might remember from the Persian Gulf War? What impact, if any, did that war have on you or your family?


mad brute

Source: Libary of Congress Collection


Related Links

  • The Great War
    This site was designed to accompany the PBS series and includes an interactive time line, maps, locations, and interviews about World War I.

  • The Gulf War
    This is a great multimedia site about the topic.