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Third Liberty Loan Poster, 1918

Third Liberty Loan Poster
New York State Archives, NYSA_A0412-78_B03_F03_ThirdLibertyLoan
Document Description
Poster advertising the Third Liberty Loan to raise funds for World War I, 1918.
Why were liberty loans such an important way to pay for the war effort?
Why did many U.S. citizens decide to buy liberty bonds?
In what other wars were liberty bonds used?
Historical Challenges
Compare propaganda posters for liberty bonds. Which posters are the most convincing and why?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Art: Create a poster that promotes liberty bonds.
John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA.

Historical Context
Liberty Loans were one way in which the U.S. government paid for the war effort.  The government raised money through public borrowing by selling “Liberty Loan” and “Victory Loan” bonds.  The government sold bonds through tens of thousands of volunteers.  The government promoted the bonds by hiring movie stars to speak at rallies, in factories, in schools, and on street corners.

President Woodrow Wilson in his “Speech at the Opening of the Third Liberty Loan Campaign, delivered in the Fifth Regiment Armory, Baltimore” on April 6, 1918 urges Americans to buy liberty loans and he gives a detailed explanation for why we are fighting in the war.

The Third Liberty Loan campaign was promoted by Boy Scouts of America.  There were posters created that promoted Third Liberty Loans and the Boy Scouts of America’s support of them.  On these posters Liberty Loans were coined as “weapons for liberty”.

Essential Question
How do nations finance war?
Check for Understanding
Describe the key symbols in the poster and explain the goal of the poster.