Example of propaganda from an earlier authoritarian and militaristic culture is the writings of Romans like Livy, which are considered masterpieces of pro-Roman statist propaganda. Theterm itself, however, is originated in Europe in 1622, shortly after the start of the Thirty Years' War, which pitted Catholics against Protestants. Catholic Pope Gregory XV founded SacredCongregation for the Propagation of the Faith (sacra congregatio christiano nomini propagando or, briefly, propaganda fide), the department of the pontifical administration charged with the spread of Catholicismand with the regulation of ecclesiastical affairs in non-Catholic countries (mission territory). Originally the term was not intended to refer to misleading information.
The modern political senseof the term "propaganda" dates from World War I, and was not originally pejorative. Propaganda techniques were first codified and applied in a scientific manner by journalist Walter Lippman andpsychologist Edward Bernays (nephew of Sigmund Freud) early in the 20th century. During World War I, Lippman and Bernays both worked for the Committee on Public Information (known informally as the CreelCommittee after its director, George Creel), which was created by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to sway popular opinion to enter the war on the side of Britain.
The Creel Committee's pro-warpropaganda campaign produced within six months an intense anti-German hysteria. Its success permanently impressed American business (and Adolf Hitler, among others, with the potential of large-scale propagandato control public opinion. Bernays coined the terms "group mind" and "engineering consent", important concepts in practical propaganda work.
The current public relations industry is a directoutgrowth of the Creel Committee's work and is still used extensively by the United States government. Several of the early figures in the public relations industry were members of the Creel Committee,...