Source question - propaganda

Essay by JonorosieHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

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Assess how useful sources C and D are to a historian studying WW1 propaganda.

In your answer, consider perspectives provided by these sources and their reliability.

Source C is written by Robert Blatchford for the newspaper Weekly Despatch and presents his view of the way Britons should treat the enemy. His main idea presented here is that all Germans living in Britain should be in gaol. The article promotes and encourages a hatred for the enemy and it is inferred that Blatchford's aim is to increase the will to fight the Germans.

The article is aimed at the British public in 1915 and makes an emotive 'slamming' of the Germans. The article also makes unjustified links between the actions of the military and the actions of the German people with regard to the sinking of the allied ship, the Lusitania. It is these false claims that provide the basis for demanding the imprisonment of all Germans living in Britain.

The article is unreliable in many ways. It has blatant lies in it such as; the German people had a direct say in the decision to sink the Lusitania. It also makes huge generalisations calling all Germans "gross, loutish savages". There is also no evidence to suggest that the Germans were "mad with the exposure and failure of their inglorious war". The source, however, is reliable in showing the 'hate campaign' of Britain waged against Germany. It also shows one way in which the sinking of the Lusitania was used in Britain's propaganda campaign.

The source is useful in showing the techniques of propaganda. It shows the kind of language used, the way propaganda appealed to ones emotions, the failure to provide factual detain, the use of tricks to mislead and the sources contribution to Britain's 'hate campaign'.

Source D is...