The absence of public unity was a primary concern when America entered the war on April 6, 1917. In Washington, unwavering public support was considered to be crucial to the entire wartime effort. On April 13, 1917, Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) to promote the war domestically while publicizing American war aims abroad. Under the leadership of a muckraking journalist named George Creel, the CPI recruited heavily from business, media, academia, and the art world. The CPI blended advertising techniques with a sophisticated understanding of human psychology, and its efforts represent the first time that a modern government disseminated propaganda on such a large scale. It is fascinating that this phenomenon, often linked with totalitarian regimes, emerged in a democratic state.
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Why World War One? (Pathfinder Magazine, 1940) In 1940, when America stood on the precipice preparing to enter another European conflict, the heretofore secret papers of Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State, Robert Lansing (1864 – 1928), were released - shedding light on the government's reasoning as to why they felt U.S. intervention in the European war was necessary.