Propaganda facts for kids
Propaganda is like advertising in some ways. For example, it uses the mass media to spread its ideas. But advertising is usually trying to sell something, whereas propaganda is about ideas. It is often political, and used by states or political parties, not private companies.
Propaganda is often used during wars. There it can be very useful. Sometimes it keeps the people of a country happy – telling them that their country is fighting well and telling them how important it is that the enemy is defeated. Sometimes it tries to make people hate the enemy. The information could tell people that the enemy is evil or make them seem not human. Sometimes a government gives propaganda to the enemy – telling them that the war is going badly for them and that they should stop fighting.
When a country is not at war, propaganda can still be used. The government may use propaganda to change what people think about a political situation. A group may try to change the way people act towards an issue.
Propaganda under some countries, like dictatorships, is used along with censorship. While propaganda tries to give people ideas, censorship forces the ones who disagree with propaganda to keep quiet.
Propaganda is also used to win people by tricking them. Some people say that cults use propaganda to get people to join them.
Examples of propaganda:
- British propaganda against Germany in the First World War.
- German propaganda against Poland to start the Second World War, see Attack on Sender Gleiwitz
Propaganda has been used in every known civilisation. It was used by Rameses II on his monuments in Ancient Egypt; it was used by Ancient Greek orators; it was used by Julius Caesar, and all Roman Emperors. The word itself is formed from propagate, meaning to multiply.
Propaganda was carried much further by the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide of the Catholic Church. This committee, founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, had action branches in most European countries. These were the local branches of the Inquisition, which sought out heretics. With torture and the threat of death by burning at the stake, they forced heretics to recant (to publicly withdraw their previous beliefs). The objective was to remove all challenges to the supremacy of the Church in matters of belief.
Images for kids
A 1918 Finnish propaganda leaflet signed by General Mannerheim circulated by the Whites urging the Reds to surrender during the Finnish Civil War. [To the residents and troops of Tampere! Resistance is hopeless. Raise the white flag and surrender. The blood of the citizen has been shed enough. We will not kill like the Reds kill their prisoners. Send your representative with a white flag.]
Public reading of the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer, Worms, Germany, 1935
A 1938 propaganda of the New State depicting Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas flanked by children. The text reads "Children! Learning, at home and in school, the cult of the Fatherland, you will bring all chances of success to life. Only love builds and, strongly loving Brazil, you will lead it to the greatest of destinies among Nations, fulfilling the desires of exaltation nestled in every Brazilian heart."
In Spanish: Propaganda para niños
Propaganda Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.