History Coursework Ben Talbutt C11 Essay Example
History Coursework Ben Talbutt C11 Essay Example

History Coursework Ben Talbutt C11 Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1313 words)
  • Published: September 6, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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I received a pair of sources to assess, including "Covenant with Death," a novel written by John Harris in 1961.

The Bath Chronicle, a local newspaper in March 1915, shares a picture of six men who are identified as five brothers and a brother-in-law. The caption across the top reads "For King and Country. Brave Bath lads who have answered the call." This source is valuable to historians studying propaganda for recruitment during World War I. As such, Source B is believed to be the most useful source for this study.

Source A is deemed unreliable for several reasons. To start, it comes from a work of fiction, which cannot guarantee the accuracy of the events portrayed. Additionally, the novel was written in 1961, classifying it as a secondary source, potentially omitting essential details despite being based on truth. The objective i


s to identify the most suitable source for analyzing propaganda use in recruitment.

Source A promotes patriotism rather than recruiting for the army and discusses the 1914 situation before the large-scale killing of 1915-16 began. Since Britain had ample soldiers at the time, propaganda was less necessary than later in the war. In contrast, Source B is an excellent resource for recruitment propaganda study as it is a primary source written at the time, ensuring accuracy without loss of information over time.

Source B, a local newspaper, presents factual information unlike Source A. The propaganda in Source B has a different objective; it aims to persuade people to join the army by portraying the six men in the picture as heroes. Propaganda can influence people greatly, as evidenced by a fifteen-year-old boy buried in Ypres who succumbed to

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the allure of heroism and enlisted in the army. In contrast, Source A aimed to promote patriotism.

Two sources were given to me, both made at the start of World War One and with contrasting messages. Source A is a novel written after the war, describing the 1914 situation, while Source B is a primary source from a newspaper made in 1915, which was the peak of the war when the need for soldiers was greater. As a historian studying propaganda during WWI, I believe that Source B is more valuable due to its source and timing.

Source C, sourced from the British magazine for the middle class called "Punch", incited German hatred by depicting a German soldier standing over the corpse of a woman who was clutching her dead daughter. On the other hand, Source D from "Labour Leader", the independent Labour Party newspaper, clarified to the working classes that this was not their battle and that it was a conflict amongst Europe's ruling classes.

The dissimilar attitudes of the Sources stem from their targeted audience. While Source C caters to the rightwing, Source D is aimed towards the leftwing. The intended audience for Source C is the middle classes, whereas Source D caters to the working classes. It was assumed during the initial phase of the war that the working class populace would be predominantly involved in the war, prior to the excessive death tolls of 1915.

The Labour Party created Source D as a means of communicating to the working class their opposition to the war. They emphasized the injustice of having the working class fight a war for the ruling class. On

the other hand, Source C was directed towards the middle classes, who were expected to be less affected by the war since it was primarily the working class who would do the fighting. The purpose of Source C was to instill hatred towards the Germans. It should be noted that at the time of its creation in 1914, the middle classes had yet to develop opposition towards the war. Overall, it can be concluded that Source C and Source D have differing perspectives due to their intended audience.

In order to determine if there was enough evidence to support the interpretation that the primary purpose of wartime propaganda was to cultivate hatred of the enemy, I examined nine sources labeled A through I. Firstly, I analyzed Source A which is an excerpt from a 1961 novel. The passage discusses a man who goes to the cinema but is surprised by a woman who appears on stage to sing a patriotic song that extols the bravery of men fighting at the front. This event was evidently meant to inspire patriotism for soldiers in the trenches rather than incite hatred towards the enemy.

Source B, taken from "The Bath Chronicle," displays an image of six men identified as five brothers and a brother-in-law with the caption "For King and Country. Brave Bath lads who have answered the call." Despite lacking evidence, the source does not suggest that propaganda was used to incite animosity towards the enemy.

Despite being created during the fierce period of war, the objective of encouraging people to join the army and fight for their nation was deemed more valuable than promoting hatred towards

Germans. Source C, a visual depiction portraying a German soldier holding the German flag atop a pole alongside two lifeless bodies of a mother and her child, was clearly designed to instigate animosity toward the adversary. The inhumane behavior of the German soldier towards the helpless mother and her young daughter serves as evidence to support the conclusion that propaganda was produced to cultivate hostility towards the opposing side.

Source D, which is from the Labour Party newspaper, addresses the working classes and highlights the injustice of them being expected to fight the wars of the ruling classes. Surprisingly, the extract refers to the Germans as "friends," which goes against typical propaganda. However, this source was produced before the war's peak and when hatred towards Germans or the need for new soldiers was minimal. Furthermore, its purpose was primarily to attract new supporters for the Labour Party instead of persuading existing supporters to despise Germans.

Within the context of the Battle of the Somme, Source E is a report from a British newspaper. It aims to boost patriotism and encourage enlistment in the army by highlighting the heroic actions of British soldiers. It also mentions the German soldiers receiving mercy despite not deserving it, although there is little expression of hatred towards them. Despite its intentions, I do not believe this source supports a certain interpretation. On the other hand, Source F offers a personal perspective on the journalist's role during times of war. Unlike Source E, it does not promote animosity towards the enemy or patriotism.

The article discusses a journalist's limitations in accurately conveying the horrors of war. While it demonstrates some

animosity towards the enemy, it is not sufficient to validate a particular interpretation. Additionally, Source G is a song from the First World War aimed at those on the home front. The lyrics advise women to send their husbands cheerful letters instead of sad ones, indicating empathy towards soldiers. Unlike the prior source, Source G does not promote hostility towards the enemy.

A poster labeled Source H shows a message urging Britons to join their country's army, with the words "Your King and Country needs you" above it. However, the poster also includes an anti-war warning rhyme that questions whether the King and Country will still need soldiers when it's time to share the spoils. Despite encouraging people to join the army, this poster does not support a message of hatred towards Germans.

Source I depicts a British cavalryman successfully overpowering a group of Germans during World War One. Despite the reality that cavalry tactics were ineffective in the harsh conditions of war, this propaganda portrays them as heroic figures. It is important to acknowledge that this propaganda does not align with the interpretation that encourages hatred towards the enemy. Ultimately, the purpose of wartime propaganda was to inspire patriotism and encourage individuals to support their country by enlisting in the army.

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