History Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How did the use of propaganda change from World War I and World War II?

Propaganda changed from WWI to WWII in that it became more racialized in order to dehumanize the enemy. WWII also made more use of movies and animations and led to the development of some new cinematic styles.

Expert Answers info

Greg Jackson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from University of Massachusetts-Boston


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,815 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

Propaganda was heavily utilized in both world wars. While it was used to galvanize patriotism, inspire people to enlist and buy war bonds, and vilify the enemy in both instances, there were differences that developed from one conflict to the next.

For one thing, the propaganda of WWII was much more racialized than it was during WWI. Nazi propaganda painted Jews and Slavs as sub-human beings who were bent on the destruction of Aryan civilization. Japanese propaganda portrayed Americans as savage, uncivilized beasts. In turn, American propaganda depicted the Japanese as mindless and destructive animals. By dehumanizing the enemy, WWII propaganda allowed many to rationalize atrocities on a level that the world had never previously experienced.

Another change that set WWII propaganda apart from that of WWI had to do with technological advancements in the media. During WWI, cinema was still in its infancy. There were some silent films used for propaganda purposes at that time. However, by...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 862 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Phillip Holland eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write1,871 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial