His3813 - Gilmore - Posters of the First World War

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Introduction

Canadian war posters played a large role in mobilizing the nation both for and during the First World War. Not only did Canada raise a massive army to serve overseas, but also transformed a normal civilian population into a war-centered society whose key goal was to contribute to the allied cause. It is a popular belief that the First World War was a key transitional period in which Canada moved from colony to nation, and one believes that it was the posters produced that aided a non-military nation in such a massive shift. The posters of the First World War were created in order to illustrate all aspects of the Canadian effort both overseas and on the home front, all the while illustrating and shaping the public opinions and feelings towards the war and its progress.Through examining three different types of war posters produced, one hopes to show the differing ways in which the Canadian public opinion was shaped and the way in which the war effort was fueled as Canada transformed into an independent nation.

Posters produced for the war were created in a variety of different ways and were aimed towards a great number of causes. Despite the profound differences however, there were also countless similarities. The posters were often bold, colorful and were presented at eye level to the viewer. These techniques were very effective and made it easy to draw in an audience. The posters attempted to appeal to ones background, exploiting gender roles, religious denominations and ethnic ties.