One of the biggest criticisms made about our country's military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is that they were essentially funded on credit. Americans were told that the best thing we could do was to go on being busy consumers, borrowing and spending to keep the economy going. Unless there was a family member in the military, most people were not affected by the war.
This is not how it was in the past. In World Wars I and II, Americans were asked to ration, conserve resouces and help finance the war by investing in war bonds.
War Bonds are basically debt securities issued by our government for the purpose of financing military operations during times of war. They generate capital for the government and, as an additional benefit, make civilians feel involved in the country's efforts. Some of the best artists of the day were drafted to make the public appeal. Here are some examples of their efforts.
Poster artists were obviously appealing to human emotion to get their message across.
Army, navy and civilians cooperate in December 7, 1943 bond drive.
Artists used powerful graphics to emphasize the importance of action.
Al Jolson, Elsie Janis, Mary Pickford and many other celebrities made public appearances promoting the patriotic element of purchasing Liberty Bonds. Here, Charlie Chaplin is hoisted into the air on the arms of Douglas Fairbanks to plug Liberty Loans in 1918.
If even our poorly-paid soldiers can afford it why can't you?
Striking artwork visualizes where your money is going.
"Crushin' the Prussian" - Some slogan-writer got a bonus out of that one.
Keep 'em dying!
When a job needs doing, send in the mothers!
Five members of the Corps of Engineers motor pool buy bonds at Detor Jewelry Store in 1943.
The dark, evil hands reaching for the wife and baby - you can't get much more subtle than that.
During World War I, America was filled with new immigrants who were also asked to support their new country.
Woman singing on a grandstand at a Liberty Loan rally.
Employees were asked to invest 10% of their weekly income into bonds, much like a tithe.
Official Francis M. Kadow bagging war bond orders.
How can you turn her down?
Even Santa was drafted to make the pitch.
War Bond Booth No. 2, sponsored by Bata Shoe Company 1943
After convincing people to buy bonds in the first place, they also had to persuade people to keep on doing so.
It's important to remember that the money spent on war bonds was an investment, one that would be paid back after the war.
Oahu County Boxing Committee purchases $10,000 worth of war bonds.