Tangible Patriotism During The First World War: Individuals And The Nation In British Propaganda 

For many British civilians during the First World War, a nation ran by simple exploitation and persuasion to boost patriotism was a common theme. In David Mongers article “Tangible Patriotism during the First World War: Individuals and the Nation in British Propaganda” he gives us a unique overview into the lives of all British civilians especially women and children in 1917. Monger takes the reader into the lives of the Britons during the early 20th century and how the people and organisations involved persuaded citizens from every walk of life to contribute to the war. This article is informative and successful at educating the reader about the use of propaganda by using factual information, unbiased approach, as well as well little to no fallacies and tone and word choice.

The articles first paragraph begins with Mongers introduction of the food economy, and the ever decreasing imports as well as production of the nation's food supply due to the war. A committee was created to deal with these food shortages food shortages, this committee was headed by Sir Henry Rew but much of its success is due to economist Dorthy Peel and social investigator Maud Pember Reeves. Their goal was to reduce the consumption of bread, especially by those who could easily afford it. The first piece of propaganda used for this campaign was thousands of posters linking saving food to helping the war effort. This was taken a step further by the introduction of creating guilt among those not at war or already in the war effort, by stating “Of our men we ask their lives, their limbs—Of ourselves a little less food.” taken from the Eat Less Meat Book initiated by Peelwhich. This sadly did not have the desired effect of reducing consumption leading to other measures to be taken by Peel and Reeves. Mongers introduces the genius use of ribbons and songs to actively get the public involved, as well as act as their own propaganda posters as citizens walked around wearing “I eat less bread” ribbons and singing songs supporting servicemen. Despite all the hard work campaign was unsuccessful, since the war was a business, and was booming for many Britons who were finally making money to buy food. Though Mongers believes that it seemed to get the point across that everyone could become involved, just by the spread of propaganda.

The second idea of the article summarizes the use of children and women helping the war effort, by doing simple tasks such as picking wool tufts on the side of roads and joining military organizations. Many services were created just for women, with the hope of making it harder for them to deny joining the war effort. Mongers once again exemplifies the use of propaganda in representing the importance of civilians at home to take a bigger part in the war effort, explaining “there was rhetorical, as well as practical, value in targeting those not yet contributing the sweat of their brow.”showing us the targeting methods of propagandists during this time. The use of money as propaganda for chores that needed to be done anyways such as laundry recruited women looking for easy money, as well as receiving uniforms to flaunt their patriotism to fellow neighbours. National service propaganda was presented in every and any form available, things such as money, creating friends, or even being part of the war effort were used to increase people's involvement without necessarily forcing them. Though patriotism was rampant, it was the propagandists who began to get citizens to voluntarily join the war movement. Mongers emphasizes the importance of not only gaining followers for the war movement, but also rewarding them for their deeds to get the attention of others.

Throughout the article Mongers tone stays neutral and informative. You hear about the use of propaganda and the facts and examples that support it, while at the same time you don't seem to hear the authors feelings in his writing. The language used could attract a wide audience as it is fairly simple and to the point. Anyone with a highschool education could easily comprehend this article as the word choice to the point and fairly simple.

Monger does not appear to have any bias towards any side in this article. You can tell he wants to bring attention towards the effectiveness of propaganda and patriotism without specifically bashing to make his article more effective. No personal opinion is officially stated, as he doesn't make the article about his opinion, but rather the real life facts and knowledge displayed at this time in history. Monger to layout the facts and quotes as well as other articles from those involved, to create the biggest and clearest picture possible for the reader.

There are few fallacies in”Tangible Patriotism during the First World War: Individuals and the Nation in British Propaganda” Monger does a great job of keeping information historically accurate and to the point. When reading the article no assumptions are made, everything is either common knowledge, or clearly proven fact. His focus seemed to be so centered on the use of facts that it is hard to find anything clearly wrong with the source using examples such as “Like food economy and Patriotic Pence, like the earlier Derby Scheme and later events like War Weapons Week” clearly giving us other sources to back himself up.

Mongers “”Tangible Patriotism during the First World War: Individuals and the Nation in British Propaganda” is an article that brings awareness to the use of propaganda and patriotism, and just how effective it can be. The reason for this articles success at informing the reader is due to the informative tone, unbiased opinions, accurately stated facts, little to no fallacies and his tone and choice of words. This author is engaged and sheds a greater light into the use of persuasion in order to make a country stronger.

07 September 2020
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