“The Time has Come…”

Title “The Time has Come…”
Creator American Lithographic Company
Date 1917?
Format 20 x 30 in
Description Propaganda posters featuring culturally significant figures regularly contain imagery of allegorical persons, such as Columbia and Uncle Sam, but this poster created by the American Lithographic Company contains the words and likeness of an actual person, American President Woodrow Wilson, in order to generate Liberty Bond sales. Wilson won reelection in 1916, in part, by running on a neutrality platform, advocating that the U.S. should not get involved with the conflict overseas. Because Wilson spent many months advocating for the U.S. to remain neutral, he realized that substantial persuasive effort would be needed to gain public approval once the U.S. joined the war in April, 1917. Although the President’s position on the war changed, the image attempts to override any and all doubt regarding U.S. participation by demonstrating in word and image that Wilson fully supports military intervention. The poster contains a portrait of the President with a determined stare in an ornate circular frame between two draped American flags. Beneath the portrait of Wilson is a quotation from the President stating that the decision to enter the war was in fact no choice at all, as it meant the difference between victory or submission, and that “FOR US THERE IS BUT ONE CHOICE. WE HAVE MADE IT.” The bronze patina of the image is reminiscent of a statue, a visual means of communicating to audiences the epic proportions of the conflict and tying support for the war to history itself.
Copyright and Terms Images are in the public domain or protected under U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code), and both types may be used for research and private study. For publication, commercial use, or reproduction, in print or digital format, of all images and/or the accompanying data, users are required to secure prior written permission from the copyright holder and from archives@ua.edu. When permission is granted, please credit the images as Courtesy of The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections.