Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Wartime -- Deprivation

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Wartime -- Deprivation

This period starts right after the depression and during a war period, when the Americans were starting to be deny natural materials such as oil, coal, iron and others like rubber, which was the first to be denied. Once this happened Americans were denied tires for cars, hoses for their gardens and other materials made from rubber. Oil was also a big deprivation to the American people. Americans were denied oil and could only buy a certain amount per week, and this hurt the tourist and resort industry because Americans could not travel. Oil for cars started not to matter because metal for cars was restricted and metal for pretty much everything was reduced or taken out. After metal, certain clothing martial was reduced such as silk. A slogan that the government used was "Use it up, wear it out, Make it do, or do without."

All this seemed easy once the food, drink, and tobacco deprivations started shortly after Pearl Harbor. Near the end of the war all the food in America was ration out with coupons but all food could be bought on the black market. Once word of this got out new slogans were introduced like "Did you drown a sailor today because YOU bought a lamb chop without giving up the required coupons?"

The American people aren't the only ones to feel the deprivation, solders felt it too. Many solders didn't eat much and have accounts of dreaming of food and eating what ever they could find like lizards, cats, dogs, etc. If Americans thought they had it tough, when the solders went into England they really saw what deprivation was. Since they have been in the war for at least two more years then America things were much worst in England. People had to wait in long lines just for common items and everything was rationed. Food was one of the biggest items being ration and in England all food was rationed and for much longer then in America.

Even though propaganda was used to make Americans follow the new ration laws it was a necessary evil. They had to ration all supplies to keep the war moving forward. Once Pearl Harbor was bombed it was much easier to convince the people to help the troops but it was still hard. The black market did cause problems but it seems the propaganda helped and we made it through the war.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good, thoughtful post.

Much of wartime propaganda during World Wars, big wars, involves preparing the population for sacrifices. Big sacrifices (your son) and small sacrifices (your lamb chop.) The thousands of minor sacrifices and inconveniences that were necessary to win the war required a massive campaign to alter the everyday behavior and habits of millions of people. Saving scrap, fat, tin foil, etc. And rationing and governement intervention into many aspects of everyday life had to be sold to a public that was willing to sacrifice for a short time but not for years on end

2/23/2006 11:01 PM  

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