War Posters

Defining moments in American culture and society influenced the art and creation of home-front war posters during the Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and the two World Wars (1914–1918 and 1939–1945, respectively). War posters are emotional appeals intended to steer attitudes and beliefs and to stir the public into action. Of the ephemera created to influence the outcome of military conflicts, war posters are some of the most enduring and accessible.

America used war posters extensively in its earliest conflicts following the colonial wars. Revolutionary War broadsides appealed to the public’s desire for liberty and self-determination for recruitment purposes. Filling the ranks of the colonial militia proved to be difficult because laws excluded large swathes of the population from participation: women, slaves, Native Americans, free Negros, white ...

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