War on Truth

Censorship and propaganda played a big role in the First World War.

Text by Canada’s History

Posted July 13, 2015

It’s said that the first casualty of war is the truth. This was certainly the case in Canada during the First World War. The War Measures Act was drawn up around the time the war was declared. The act allowed for censorship of newspapers and all forms of correspondence. The legislation also permitted authorities to round up people who were considered enemy aliens and intern them in remote camps — a situation that went largely unreported in the press.

Propaganda posters that glorified the sacrifices made for “king and country” were designed to encourage enlistment.

Eventually, however, it became hard to hide the reality of the massive numbers of men who were losing their lives in the trenches.

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For more on this topic, read “The War on Truth” by Jeffrey A. Keshen in the August-September issue of Canada’s History magazine.

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