What would be a good topic to write about for a senior thesis regarding American propaganda in World War II?What would be a good topic to write about for a senior thesis regarding American...

What would be a good topic to write about for a senior thesis regarding American propaganda in World War II?

What would be a good topic to write about for a senior thesis regarding American propaganda in World War II?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You might want to consider the uses of propaganda. Another option is to consider how propaganda was used to explain away the Japanese Internment camps. Finally, you could compare the American and Nazi uses of propaganda in order to see how they are similar and different.
accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You might want to take a slightly different approach and consider how propaganda played a part in getting America involved in the war in the first place. Certainly, as I am sure you know, there was a distinct shift from the initial isolationist approach to the "War in Europe" that America felt didn't involve them to their gradual realisation that this was a World War in every sense of the word. You might want to investigate how this shift operated. It would be a fascinating topic to research. Good luck!

missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think an interesting topic to write about would be images. That might seem very simple, but WWII was the first war during our time in which picture seemed to be used more than a word because of technology's advancements.

You have three very famous images that still today manipulate society when used. You have the poster of Uncle Sam with the tagline, "I Want You!" encouaging men to enlist. You have the Rosie the Riveter images that put women to work. You also have the image of the men raising the flag near the end of the war that the movie Flags of our Fathers was based after. Each of these has had tremendous continued impact.

The Uncle Sam posters are still a symbol used to elicit patriotism or allegiance to a cause. I've seen it used in high school hallways or mocked by another picture in order to get students to join some event.

Rosie gave women further ground in the Women's rights movement. During the war, we needed women working, it wasn't just a want. This established a longing that had been entertain, but not acted upon to this degree.

Finally, the Flag of our Fathers image was repeated at the onslaught of 9/11, but this time firefighters took centerstage.

Each image has had profound effect on America for a time well-after WWII and I believe that makes them powerful. Of course propaganda is often so associated with lies and persuasive mechanics, but I think you could argue several nuances and purposes with these images that you would indeed have a paper full of ideas.

kateew's profile pic

kateew | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

You might want to take a slightly different approach and consider how propaganda played a part in getting America involved in the war in the first place. Certainly, as I am sure you know, there was a distinct shift from the initial isolationist approach to the "War in Europe" that America felt didn't involve them to their gradual realisation that this was a World War in every sense of the word. You might want to investigate how this shift operated. It would be a fascinating topic to research. Good luck!

I just saw your post and although it was from quite some time ago I was wondering if maybe you might have some suggestions for me.

I am beginning my senior thesis. I have a topic that my advisor approves of but now I am stuck (as I'm sure most are when they start such a daunting task for the first time).

Basically I need to establish that at least a majority of Americans supported a policy of isolationism during the 1930’s leading into WWII. This is basically a starting point and I feel I need to prove this as much as I can before I actually present my thesis. 

To prove this base assumption, I will use newspaper articles, public opinion polls, the Republican Party election campaign strategy (anti-war), and FDR’s “fireside chats” and speeches.

I need to then present my thesis which is basically that a combination of British and American (Roosevelt’s) propaganda drastically changed the opinion of the people and pushed America toward favoring the war. I partially intend to show how Churchill influenced (if not actually dictated) foreign policy and how both Churchill and FDR used propaganda campaigns to change the public opinion of America. I’m not sure what type of first hand accounts be best for me to start with; would books from the period or more contemporary accounts which comment on and analyze the period be better to start?

 

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