4 Reasons for Buying Victory Bonds


This World War I poster, produced in Canada in 1917, depicts “4 reasons for buying Victory Bonds.” The “reasons” are the four most important German civilian and military leaders, whose faces would have been familiar to many Canadians from news reports: Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German emperor; Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, the chief of the German General Staff; Crown Prince Wilhelm, the son of the emperor and heir to the throne; and Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, commander of the German Navy. Canada, a dominion within the British Empire, was a major combatant on the Allied side, which consisted of the powers of Britain, France, and Russia. To raise money to prosecute the war, the Allied nations sold interest-bearing war bonds, which Canada began calling Victory Bonds (or Victory Loans) in 1917. From 1915 to 1919, the Canadian government conducted five bond campaigns. For each, the Victory Loan Dominion Publicity Committee produced a poster urging Canadian citizens to buy bonds and inaugurated campaigns with ceremonies, parades, and appearances by celebrities. On the application for a Victory Bond during the 1917 campaign could be found these words: “The man, be rich or poor, is little to be envied, who at this supreme moment fails to bring forward his life savings for the security of his country.” Canadians responded enthusiastically. Children joined in by accumulating Thrift Stamps they could use to buy bonds. Communities that raised significant amounts of money were rewarded with a Victory Loan Honour Flag.

Last updated: November 14, 2017