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  • Topic: World War I, Woodrow Wilson, Committee on Public Information
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  • Published : March 31, 2013
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Impact of WW I and US government measures on domestic happenings in America: Anti-German sentiment as well as the significance of the Creel committee.

Amol M. Shanbhag

HIST 157

Professor William Mood

February 15, 2013

Shanbhag 2

The World War I changed America. As they say “wars change things”, and big wars change things a lot or at least hastened the pace of change.  Some of these changes might have been good, but there was a sinister side to some of what was going on as well. Some Americans became almost hysterical in their strident patriotism and their hostility to radicals and dissenters. Isolated sabotage by German sympathizers, including an attack on a New Jersey munition dump, fanned the flames. While those critical of peace workers tried to link words like internationalism and pacifism to “un-American” ideas, peace groups responded by explaining that concern for international issues did not lead to disloyalty, that patriotic citizens wanted to protect their countries from wartime violence, and that verbal attacks against peace advocates violated American values such as free speech. Unfortunately, American involvement in WWI had some worrisome indirect effects on the country.

Where and how did it all begin?
As WWI began, President Woodrow Wilson's administration (1913-1921) felt that public opinion was needed to be mobilized in support of the war. The federal government embarked on a domestic propaganda campaign. Wilson chose journalist George Creel to head a government Committee on Public Information (CPI). The CPI placed pro-war advertisements in magazines and distributed 75 million copies of pamphlets defending America's role in the war. A massive advertising campaign for war bonds was also launched, and filmmakers were encouraged to produce movies that featured alleged German atrocities, such as The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin. 1

Creel’s group printed all sorts of anti-German posters. ...
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