War is the National Industry of Prussia
- Alternate Title:
- La Guerre est l'Industrie Nationale de la Prusse [War is the National Industry of Prussia]
- War is the National Industry of Prussia
- Persuasive Maps: PJ Mode Collection
- Neumont, Maurice, 1868-1930
- Other Creators:
- La Conference au Village contre la Propagande Ennemie en France (publisher)
P J Gallais et Cie, Edit. (printer)
- Posted Date:
- ID Number:
- File Name:
- 1900 - 1919
- World War I
- 60 x 81 (centimeters, height x width)
- This French propaganda poster from 1917 is captioned with an 18th century quote: "Even in 1788, Mirabeau was saying that War is the National Industry of Prussia." Figures at the upper right chart the growth in German armies over two centuries, and color codes show the country's territorial expansion. Most dramatically, Germany is shown as an octopus with tentacles extending not only west to France, England, Spain and Italy, but to the Balkans and Greece, Turkey and Asia Minor, Romania and Russia.
The map is replete with text emphasizing the message. "Invaded 47 years ago, Alsace-Lorraine is no different from the French departments invaded three years ago." At the lower left, the viewer is reminded of the ominous German declaration "on the eve of war" that "the German people must rise up as a people of masters over the inferior peoples of Europe." At the upper right is an exhortation in red: "All of France stands up for the victory of right." See generally Curtis 2016, 80; Barber 2010, 164-65; Barron 2008, 16.
La Conference au Village contre la Propagande Ennemie en France was established in 1917. Among other things, it published "a swathe of anti-German literature: tracts, leaflets and posters . . . . an influential new initiative to . . . counter the effects of war-weary hearts and minds and insidious enemy propaganda on France’s rural population." (http://barron.co.uk/Satirical+and+Propaganda+Maps+of+World+War+One/item1170?startPos=, accessed December 26, 2014).
The octopus is a persistent trope in persuasive cartography. It first appeared in Frederick Rose's "Serio-Comic War Map For The Year 1877," ID #2272, about the Russo-Turkish War. "Once Fred W. Rose had created the 'Octopus' map of Europe, it proved difficult to rid propaganda maps of them." Barber 2010, 164. "The prevalence of the octopus motif in later maps suggests that the octopus also spoke to humanity's primeval fears, evoking a terrifying and mysterious creature from the depths (the dark outer places of the world) that convincingly conjured a sense of limitless evil." Baynton-Williams 2015, 180.
The collection includes numerous maps - from Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Latin America, the Netherlands and the U.S. - employing the octopus motif. (Search > “octopus”.) Many of these relate to imperialism and war, from 1877 to the Cold War. Others attack social and political targets, including a "reactionary" journalist, the Standard Oil monopoly, “Landlordism,” mail order houses, Jews and Mormons.
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- Private Collection of PJ Mode
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