Before criticising the book: An Illustrated History of Britain, I have to define what propaganda is. That’s why, I would like to share with you this definition ”Propaganda is a way of spreading ideas and influencing people. It played an important part in World War II as both the Allies and the Axis used propaganda to shape morale (happiness) of people at home and the forces fighting abroad, and to make the enemy seem more brutal. Propaganda was used to decrease the morale of the people on the other side to try and get them to oppose the war and lose their belief in a victory.” As for British, that’s exactly the point.
British applied various ways in order to avoid the combats casualty and to gain strength against their enemies. Undoubtfully, One of these ways is British Propaganda. Their propaganda generally is about the wars which are involved in or any chaos atmospheres.
This propaganda can take many visual and auditory shapes and can spread in many ways. These ways are war posters, books, articles, essays, brochures, newspapers, even poems. Examples of propaganda which includes these ways can influence people’s attitudes and behaviours in terms of thinking so we can say that people can easily be exposed to British Propaganda.
For British, propaganda is such a powerful tool that they can provide advantages and pull the people toward itself. We can deduce from this that British needs propaganda to persuade the people or win a war without taking any damages in terms of economic and social ways. There are many examples of British Propaganda throughout the history. I can cite some articles which take place in the book. An Illustrated History of Britain not only British history but also about Irish, Scottish and Welsh history. However, while reading book, it is possible to be figured out that some of the parts and sections are written in non-objective ways, and the main issues are tried to be slipped away from the reality. I mean that the book does not reflect the facts and truths without hiding anything. This makes me interested in context of the book that’s why I handled with three sections which are mentioned or not.
The first issue I talk over is ”the Opium Wars”, the second one is ”the Great War”, and the last one is ”the Chanak Crisis” or the ”Chanak Affair”.The Opium Wars The book says that ”in 1839 Britain attacked China and forced it to allow the profitable British trade in opium from India to China. The ‘Opium Wars’ were one of the more shameful events in British History”. So far so good but if we think long and hard, we have to deal with opium which is an addictive drug. China wanted to block the opium addict so China started to punish drug cartels and drug dealers in the country, and it wiped out all drugs about opium by burning them all. This was the case for Britain that’s why Britain declared the war against China for removing the ban on opium. The cost of the wars forced the Chinese government to accept to make treaties with British. The treaties weighed against China, and it stayed in hard conditions.
Throughout the treaties, British tried to set up diversed spy systems within China. Moreover, these treaties provide a basis for criminal and illegal activities. Unlike the book, this is what shameful one is. When I look at the book, I cannot see any informations about this issue, and these events are slightingly mentioned in the book. In the meantime, British continued to expand their colonies all around the world. While doing these, British caused millions of inhabitants to destroy together with the customs and traditions. It is so obvious that the book is non-objective about the Opium Wars.