World War I Propaganda Posters

World War I began almost 100 years ago, in the summer of 1914. The United States, having little involvement with the web of treaties that caused most of Europe to get involved immediately, tried to stay out of the war.


In May of 1915, a German U-Boat torpedoed the RMS Lusitania, killing 1,198 passengers and crew, including 128 Americans. This act, along with the European ties of many Americans, led to President Woodrow Wilson finally declaring war on the German Empire in April, 1917.

SEE ALSO: Devastating effects of World War I

To garner support for the war, propaganda posters were created to illustrate the importance of purchasing war bonds and stamps to fund the military. Other posters aimed to convince the populace to abstain from eating wheat and meat so the food could go to the troops. World War I also was the first time the “I Want You” poster featuring Uncle Sam illustrated by J.M. Flagg was used for Army recruitment.

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