political cartoons - gilded age

ATG - "Bosses of the Senate"
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The political cartoon drawn by a popular artists, Keppler, in the news article Puck depicts the oversized view of the monopolists in the post Civil War senate. The monopolists are shown to be these large and over bearing men surrounding the senate. The size of the monopolists in the picture show both the power of the monopolies as well as the intimidation that they had over the smaller shown senators. The influence that these monopolies had over the senate where a very important part of the life of all Americans during this time period. The senate was becoming this sort of millionaires club that helped to further spread the influence that the monopolies had over the United States as a whole. Above the bloated figures of the monopolists you will see a corrupt quote that has been changed from the quote found in the Gettysburg Address to, “This Senate of the monopolists, by the monopolists, and for the monopolists.” This quote shows how the view of the United States as a fair and equal has been changed by the influence that the monopolies have had on the senate. Another thing that you will find in the cartoon that is very important to it’s interpretation can be found in the upper left hand corner. There is a door where the people would be able to come into the senate and watch the preceding, however, in the cartoon it is closed off. This shows how the people of the United States have lost their right and power to say what they felt about the senate. With the doors closed off to the public the senate as been transformed into a house of monopolists, changing the government for their personal benefits.
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APC -- "Blow Over -- Let Us Prey"
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Thomas Nast’s first tangible benefit from Greeley’s Union Square speech of June 12, 1871, was an irresistible notion that he would store for use three months later. Greeley had derided the “carpetbag” Northerners who went South after the war as “long-faced and greatly serious characters looking for the salvation of souls, and whose motto is ‘let us pray.’ But they always spell the pray with an e, and they always obey the apostolic injunction to pray unceasingly." Nast applied Greeley’s observation to four key Tweed Ring figures, Peter Sweeny, William “Boss” Tweed, Richard Connolly, and Oakey Hall—who the cartoonist transformed into vultures. The Tweed Ring of Tammany Hall, the principal Democratic political machine in New York City, used extortion, kickbacks, and other malfeasance to pocket millions from the city and county treasuries. Their downfall began when disgruntled ex-Tammanyites provided The New York Timeswith information for a series of exposés beginning in July 1871. Harper’s Weeklyand other reform-minded newspapers added their own anti-ring commentaries. Nast had been assailing the Tammany Ring for years through his creative and powerful images, but intensified his assault in the summer and fall of 1871.
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NMD-The Worship of the Golden Calf

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This political cartoon was drawn by Joseph Keppler for the newspaper, the Puck Press during the Grant presidency. The purpose of this cartoon is rather straight forward. It depicts the Republicans in the situation of the Israelites in the Book of Exodus in defying Moses and the Ten Commandments and worshiping the golden calf, or President Grant. The reason many Democrats began to view Grant this way was because his legendary service in the War of Southern Secession and relationship of Lincoln, the hero of the Republicans, elevated Grant to the status of demigod amongst the Grand Old Party. However, the fact he is the golden calf not only because of his mythical status, but also that he does not have much supporting his political reputation. The Republicans in this cartoon are represented as the gullible Israelites, blindly following their false god. There is even in the picture a cherubim carrying the Ten Commandments, on which say "Thou shall not seek a third term." The overall purpose of this cartoon is to not only insult Grant's status as an extremely respected president, but also to insult the Republicans for treating a politician like a god when he does not even deserve to be respected. This political cartoon is very effective at getting its message across because it requires very little explanation. The fact that the image of the Israelites worshiping the golden idol is so culturally recognizable is that it makes the political cartoon that much more powerful it is because of how much recognition comes with it.
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SLW-- HarpWeek: "A Sudden Awakening"


This political cartoon, created by William A. Rogers in 1901, signifies the rise of corporate America and the reaction of European nations when they realized that the increase of American innovation, technology, and business ventures had elevated America to the status of a prosperous world power. In the cartoon, the man sitting in the bed is John Bull, who is a national symbol of Great Britain in many political cartoons. He and his fellow Europeans are “awoken from their sleep” and are stunned by what appears to be an American fire-breathing dragon. The dragon is composed of a train-engine head, an American steel body, and limbs of other mass-produced technologies in America. This represents the establishment of a mega-corporation, a new business form, in America from the predominant previous business forms in America: sole proprietorships and partnerships. The mega-corporation, U.S. Steel Corporation, was founded when J.P. Morgan bought Andrew Carnegie’s successful steel company and consolidated it with other steel corporations to form one giant mega-corporation. It became a signal to foreign nations of the economic success in America. Andrew Carnegie used vertical integration to fuel the success of steel production in America. He integrated the industry by buying out all of the companies that were needed to produce the steel. This eliminated the need to acquire capital that would otherwise be used to pay the middlemen in the industry. Railroads, ships, bridges, buildings, and many other goods flourished in response to the vast expansion of steel production in America. European powers rightfully looked at America and its prosperity in the steel industry with astonishment because the United States had surpassed British steel production. American wealth and prosperity was something that European nations had been reluctant to acknowledge. This cartoon was intended to show American citizens their position in relation to other world powers and the growing impact that mega-corporations were playing in the American economy. This cartoon also caught the attention of European nations, showing them just how prosperous America's economy was becoming in the Gilded Age and how it was force to be reckoned with. In result, these nations were probably encouraged to re-examine their own business forms as well to compete with America.

SMR- "Hopelessly Bound to the Stake"

Hopelessly Bound to the Stake
Hopelessly Bound to the Stake

Berhard Gillam drew this political cartoon for the Puck Press in 1883, depicting a workman changed to a stake. This cartoon signifies the cruel treatment by the wealthy industrialists toward their workers. Laborers were forced to work fourteen to sixteen hour work days in order to fulfill their quota, they worked in unsafe conditions, and they were payed about $400-$500 a year, while living costs estimated $800 a year. Ultimately, the workers were overworked and underpaid. During this time, mechanization reduced the cost for workers' wages, however the workers were still bound to the company because they lived in the provided housing and bought from the company store. While the worker's wages went down, the prices for living remained the same and the laborers were inevitably bound to their company through debt. In addition to these horrible working conditions, when monopolies came around, the owner could regulate the price as he wished. As his fortune grew, the poor were stuck in a rut. As a consequence to this unfair treatment, workers began organizing labor unions. These unions fought for better working conditions, higher wages, and shorter work days. Although the workers thought they would prevail through strikes and boycotts, their employers were able to outsmart them by hiring scabs, immigrant workers that were willing to work for less, the employers also locked the doors to their plants to prevent laborers from reporting for work, and black listed many unionists, circulating a list to a series of employers, making it impossible for some laborers to be hired. Due to the ongoing tensions and pressures between the employers and the laborers, many strikes and riots erupted, plaguing the late nineteenth century with industrial unrest, and creating the stage for workers' reforms in the twentieth century.

Joseph Ferdinand Keppler founded and was a leading cartoonist for Puck Magazine. He tended to criticize American politicians and presidents, as he did in this cartoon by disparaging President Benjamin Harrison. This political cartoon came out in 1890 in Puck Magazine in the year of congressional elections in Harrison’s presidency. Benjamin Harrison is drawn wearing his grandfather’s, William Henry Harrison’s, hat which is depicted as being much too big for him, thus portraying Benjamin Harrison as being much smaller or weaker than his grandfather and as unfit for the presidency. It is saying that Benjamin Harrison is unable to fill William Henry Harrison’s shoes, or in this case, hat. The cartoon also references the poem “Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe. Benjamin Harrison is the narrator, and James G. Blaine is the raven and rests on a bust of William Henry Harrison instead of a bust of Pallas. Thus equating Benjamin Harrison to a somewhat pathetic scholar and Blaine to an animal who can only say one thing and is in opposition to Benjamin, therefore putting both in a rather negative light and eluding to disagreements over the McKinley Tariff of 1890. Those who resented Benjamin Harrison and the tariff, the majority of the people, would be in favor of this portrayal; the president himself and his supporters would not because the cartoon was against them in a time where they really needed some support. This cartoon shaped voter’s and politician’s views of the president. The cartoon was produced to attack President Harrison and Blaine at a time of congressional elections to influence the outcome of the elections by depicting the figures, and therefore their political party, the Republican Party, negatively. The McKinley Tariff was largely opposed by the people because it supported large industries at the expense of the consumers. Midterm elections took place the same year and economic policies, including the McKinley Tariff, and problems played key roles in its outcome. The congressional elections of 1890 did end up going against the Republicans. Even some Republican leaders ceased supporting Harrison. At a time when Benjamin Harrison’s and Republican popularity was waning due to economic issues including the McKinley Tariff, Keppler’s cartoon attacked the president and demonstrated disagreements within the party, which influenced voters to not vote for Republicans in the congressional elections and Republicans to stop supporting the president which lead to the Republican’s downfall in the midterm elections and Benjamin’s failed re-election.

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Published in Puck magazine by Udo J. Keppler, this political cartoon depicts an octopus of Standard Oil gathering with its tentacles the white house, steel and copper industries, U.S. capitol, shipping industries, and the state house. Udo J. Keppler was the son of the founder of Puck magazine, Joseph Keppler. Beginning as an editorial cartoonist for the magazine Udo eventually gained control of the magazine as a whole after his father’s death. He drew many cartoons from the mid 1800s and early 1900s and his style today could be described as scathing and criticizing. Puck magazine was America’s first successful humor magazine, published in several languages and making appearances of being sold in England as well, the magazine was thriving and reached a large audience including people from all societal groups of rich, poor, common, different racial groups, and both sexes. In this particular political cartoon, it is portrayed that Standard Oil is capturing many very influential and important aspects of America including those in government and economics, portraying its monopoly not only on oil but also on the economy and America in general. This is not the first time an octopus had been used to represent corporate power in America; previously the same symbol had been used to represent the railroad monopoly, others including Standard Oil, as well as ones representing various political figures. The octopus can also be viewed as a type of monster in the process of taking over and capturing many different fields. Because Standard Oil was intertwined with public policy, had more power than previous companies, employed more people the octopus’ tentacles portray the interconnectedness between all these aspects of control. This cartoon is clearly attempting to reach the audience of the general public or common man, to make the aware of the dangers of Standard oil while representing it as a sort of monster in hopes of igniting fear or suspicion towards the company.

SL: "Put Yourself In His Place"

Thomas Nast, a famous cartoonist was accredited for creating images such as “Uncle Sam” and Santa Claus, created this political cartoon. Nast drew for Harper's Weekly, a political magazine during the early nineteenth century. The cartoon, "Put Yourself in His Place" was published on March 4, 1871, during the start of the "Free Silver" movement. The Free Silver movement was supported largely by the Democrat and Populist Party and represented the drive to do away with the Gold Standard and base America's economy off Silver, in order to make it more accessible to the American public, such farmers and the working class. This issue became more prevalent during the election of 1896, but as this cartoon was published in 1871, it placed the issue in front of audiences before elections. The cartoon also attempted to show the public that the Free Silver movement was not perfect, as Nast includes the "All is not Gold that Glitters" phrase, suggesting that switching to the silver standard would actually not benefit America's economy. Nast's depiction of a happy family with plenty of food on the left side of the cartoon directly appeals to the public, causing them to associate prosperity and success with the gold standard due to Nast's favorable illustration. In contrast, Nast created a negative association on the right side of the cartoon, by illustrating a tired worker who is still in the office, working at midnight. This stark contrast was Nast's attempt to show the prosperity of the Gold Standard and the unreliability of the Free Silver Movement. This cartoon was significant during this time because it was one of the early cartoons illustrating the two opposing economic thoughts.


This illustration by Frederick Burr Opper, published on the front page of Puck magazine in late 1882, reflected the feelings of many Americans in the time. As businesses expanded into monopolies, the power held by business heads became increasingly more obvious. In this illustration, rail tycoon Vanderbilt is pictured, along with a quotation: “the public be damned”. He crushes an eagle meant to represent the people and ideology of America-that through hard, honest work, anyone can become successful- beneath one foot, demonstrating the immense strength corporations hold over society and development. Congress and legislature stand by Vanderbilt’s side, chained and docile, expressing the willingness of government to bent to the whims of big business, despite its destructive nature.
Monopolies were clearly constricting the development of other smaller businesses, and their consumption of weaker industries led to loss in competition and rises in price for the commonplace citizen. As corporations grew greedier and more influential, the government did little to nothing to aid the common workers and small business owners. The sentiments displayed in Opper’s cartoon quickly spread throughout the American people, making this a very accurate view into the Gilded Age.

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In this political cartoon, the artist's message can be interpreted in two ways. First it can be seen that the artist supported Byran's side and silver as the basis for American currency. Uncle Sam is clearly sinking in gold quicksand which represents how gold will get America's economy no where. Plus the word silver is placed on a mountain which is higher round and therefore a safer route. However, the cartoon can also be seen as a campaign for greenbacks that feel that silver might be a better alternative to gold, but both are poor choices. At first look, the word silver seems to be the biggest word of the cartoon and the type of currency actually supported in this cartoon, but the mountain it is on has cracks. The cracks could represent a bad foundation because silver is not the right choice for America. The mountain could turn into a landslide onto Uncle Sam. Whichever way it is interpreted, prosperity is the over all goal and there is no clear solution from this political cartoon. As far as Uncle Sam and the horse go, they represent the republican party. The decision of quicksand is also intriguing because it represents a quick fall, such as an economic depression, not like mud or broken wheel would represent.

WMA- "Inspecting the Democratic Curiosity Shop"

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This cartoon, drawn by Joseph Keppler for Puck Magazine in 1880, symbolizes the past sins of the Democratic Party in America, particularly focusing on its enabling of the mistreatment of African Americans. Keppler was a Republican who immigrated to America is 1867. From this picture not only can Keppler's anti-slavery views be observed, through the various references to of violence toward slaves, but also his distaste for General Winfield Scott is noticeable. Scott is portrayed as an ignorant fool, being manipulated by Democrats due to his lack of political experience. Following the Civil War much of the blame lied with the Democratic Party, most likely because the Republican Party was still emerging until 1860 while Democrats had been around for much longer; thus Keppler labels Democrats as being responsible for the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act and secession, in hopes of inciting further opposition toward Democrats. The entire cartoon is filled with a clutter of symbols, clearly labeled in order to appeal to less educated Americans and help illuminate the perceived evils of Democrats. The satirical nature of this cartoon does not come from its hidden messages, but rather the bluntness of the argument, enabling more Americans to understand and accept the author's intentions. Although Keppler tries to reach a wider audience he limits himself to only Northern Republicans by attacking Democrats, who had previously won the popular vote in 1876 presidential election, and offending Southerners who feel that slavery should be legal. In addition many European immigrants, especially the Irish, were Democrats, which further limits Keppler's audience. The cartoon intended to sway voters against voting for Scott, the Democratic nominee, in the presidential election of 1880. Ultimately the cartoon most likely had a successful effect because James Garfield defeated Scott with 214 of the369 electoral votes.

ARS: "The Raven"

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The artist of this political cartoon titled, “The Raven” was created by Joseph Ferdinand Keppler. Keppler was born in Vienna, Austria in 1838. He got a strong education in the German Style of cartoon art in the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. Keppler followed his father to America in 1867, where he settled in St. Louis, Missouri. Frank Leslie discovered Keppler and offered him a position in New York. While drawing for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper Keppler attached President Ulysses S. Grant. Keppler began his own humorist in Germany, which was so successful that an American edition, Puck, was produced. Adding color to the lithographed cartoons, Puck slowly became a newsstand eye-catcher, a political force and a magnet for aspiring cartoonists and humorous writers. Keppler's drawings contained a multitude of figures illustrating a parable and his style was keenly satirical. Keppler began publishing of Puck on March fourteenth, 1877 in New York. Keppler published Puck for forty year by himself before the William Randolph Hearst company bought it in 1916. This cartoon was published in 1890. It depicts Benjamin Harrison at his desk wearing the hat of his grandfather, President William Henry Harrison. The hat is too big for his head, suggesting that he is not fit for the presidency. A raven with the head of Secretary of State, James G. Blaine, is sitting on top of a statue of William Henry Harrison. The raven is glaring down at Harrison, referring to the poem “The Raven” written by Edger Allen Poe. Readers had to have read this poem prior to seeing this cartoon in order to understand the underlying references. If readers understood the argument Keppler was making about Harrison not being suitable for the job of president then it influenced their votes.
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JTF - "The Trust Giant's Point of View"
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This cartoon was drawn by someone who was obviously very critical of John D. Rockefeller's policies. It was drawn during the height of Rockefeller's power and wealth. The cartoon shows Rockefeller as a giant, completely in control of the Supreme Court, as he is apparently putting bags of money inside the building. The background shows the US Capitol Building with smoke stacks on it, surrounded by a huge field of oil drums. Rockefeller had much government influence, being the richest man in the world at the time. His use of horizontal integration gave him an oil monopoly, which would have given him enough money to make sure his supporters would be elected to powerful offices. The cartoon was obviously designed for people that weren't rich. The poor and middle class Americans who felt the economic strain of Rockefeller's monopoly would get the full effect of the cartoon. The cartoon shows how Rockefeller's business practices are not in the best interest of anyone other than himself. The main idea is that Rockefeller has complete control over the US government. The cartoon would serve to make people who were previously unaware of Rockefeller's practices angry with him, and also affirm the suspicions of those who had questioned him already.

APC: "Amphitheatrum Johnsonianum -- Massacre of the Innocents at New Orleans"


Thomas Nast, known for drawing the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant also drew "Amphitheatrum Johnsonianum -- Massacre of the Innocents at New Orleans." This political cartoon was drawn by Thomas Nast on March 30, 1867 and was published in Harper's Weekly, and it was one of the most important cartoons that Thomas Nast ever drew. The image is a harsh criticism of what the cartoonist believed was President Andrew Johnson’s ultimate responsibility for the New Orleans riot in the summer of 1866. On July 30, 1866, New Orleans city police and former Confederates had clashed with white delegates to a state constitutional convention and their black supporters during the early phase of Reconstruction. The melee left 34 blacks and three white Republicans dead. This cartoon was probably completed months before its publication and held to coincide with the release of a congressional report on the riot. In the cartoon, President Johnson is enthroned on the left, while standing in front of him and looking down at the carnage, is Navy Secretary Gideon Welles. The first tiny figure beyond Welles’ profile is Greeley, who appears to be gesturing in horror as he talks with his friend George Wilkes, a fellow Republican. Behind Greeley are reformer Wendell Phillips and a gesturing Congressman Benjamin Butler, who would be one of the managers of the impeachment proceeding against the president. Johnson, a strict constructionist on constitutional interpretation, grips a rolled paper labeled “My Constitution,” the top of which appears to come between the faces of Nast and his editor, George William Curtis. To the left, at the edge of the drapery over Johnson’s arm, is Manton Marble, editor of the DemocraticNew York World, and New York Mayor John Hoffman, a member of Tammany Hall, who both seem pleased by the gory spectacle before them. The New Orleans riot was in actuality a slaughter of pro-Unionists by former confederates. The Unionists from Louisiana were attempting to modify the state constitution to allow universal male suffrage. Harper’s Weekly published articles related to the “riots” which the students will read. Harper’s Weekly also published Thomas Nast’s illustrations dealing with the riots. In many of his political cartoons, Nast vilified the southern hegemony and President Johnson for their racist and tyrannical stance. Many of Nast’s cartoons portray President Johnson as a Southern sympathizer exhibiting no empathy for the welfare of African Americans.

“The Ignorant Vote…”- Thomas Nast
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Many nativists in America during the Gilded Age disliked new immigrants, fearing that the influx of immigrants would ruin America and reduce job availability and security. In the North, Irish immigrants were viewed to be the greatest threat to America; the Irish were predominantly Catholic and were discriminated against by the largely Protestant population of the Northeast. It was feared that the rising Irish population was increasing the social and political influence of the Roman Catholic Church in America. In 1876, Thomas Nast published “The Ignorant Vote…” in Harper’s Weekly. Thomas Nast was a German-born immigrant; thus, he suffered from Nativist discrimination, though probably to a lesser degree than the average Irish immigrant. However, he too, as a German Protestant, disliked Irish immigrants. In this cartoon, the stereotypical Irish immigrant is a drunkard and not well taken care of. Though the depiction of the drunk Irishman is standard for Nast, normally he, as a previous abolitionist and civil rights advocate, portrays Blacks in a dignified, non-insulting manner. However, in “The Ignorant Vote...” Blacks are portrayed as barefoot, unpleasant and equal in status as the hated Irish immigrants. This cartoon was published shortly after the 1876 presidential election, in response to the growing political power of the Irish with their multitude of “inferior” and “ignorant” votes. By setting the Irish and Blacks as equal on the scale, he is asserting that their votes are equally inferior. On the upper portion of the scale, “North” is inscribed on the side with the Irishmen, and “South” is inscribed on the side with the Black man. This suggests that Nast believes that North and South are equally negatively affecting United States’ politics. The controversy regarding the Election of 1876 was not just the Black man’s fault; the responsibility is equally shared by Black and White. In both instances, there are outside forces affecting their voting decision other than their personal political beliefs. For the Irish, it is the Roman Catholic Church; for the blacks, it is the white people that they depend on for their livelihood. Both the Church and the white Southerners generally supported the Democratic party; whereas Nast and Harper’s Weekly subscribed to Republican doctrine. Thus, despite his support of civil rights, blacks are his political opponents here because they are voting for the opposing party. This can be seen as a repeat of the previous belief among the political elite in post-revolutionary America that only those uninfluenced politically by any force other than their own political inclinations, which was the politically reasoning for voting property requirements. The Election of 1876 was one of the most disputed elections in US history; there was only a difference of one electoral vote between the Republican and Democratic candidate. Eventually, the presidency was given to a Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes. However, to achieve the presidency it is presumed that an informal compromise was reached, ending the Reconstruction in the South, which was a Democratic goal. As a supporter of the Reconstruction and of civil rights, Nast would feel very resentful of this acquiesce.
This political cartoon was addressed to fellow Republicans, as Harper’s Weekly was a predominately Republican magazine. Nast is intending to place the blame on the Irish and Blacks, or indirectly the Catholic Church and wealthy Southerners, for the early ending of the Reconstruction. However, Blacks might have felt that Nast was being hypocritical, abandoning his previous campaign for civil rights with his atypically negative portrayal of Blacks. Irishmen would have likely felt that this political cartoon was just more of Nast’s crusade against Irish immigrants and Catholicism. Likely, “The Ignorant Vote…” would have contributed to anti-Irish and anti-black sentiment in America, further emphasizing Nativist principles.

GEB-What H.G. Knows About Thraeshing
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The author, Thomas Nast of Harper’s Weekly, created this cartoon in July of 1872 against one of the presidential candidates, Horace Greeley. Nast, a known cartoonist and creator of many main political cartoon archetypes (ie Republican Elephant, Democratic Donkey, and Uncle Sam), was born in German, later immigrating to America. Nast is mostly known for his attacks against Andrew Jackson (the Democratic Jackass) and his bring down of Boss Tweed. During this time period in which this specific cartoon was run, Nast was actually good friends with Ulysses Grant (the opposing candidate) was openly against Horace Greeley for president, hence the plethora of nasty cartoons against him.

The target audience of this drawing would be the men eligible to vote in the upcoming election with Grant and Greeley. Nast was really persistent at trying to get people to think badly of Greeley because of his cartoons. Additionally many business and company owners/worker read newspapers daily as well as the wealthy and Harper’s Weekly was a national newspaper that could definitely claim to have an influence over people. Regarding the division of people, the north would most likely feel appalled by Greeley in this cartoon because of the slave-owner role he is put in. The wealthy would see how dirty and farmer-like Greeley is and due to their standards would feel he does not measure up to what a good president should be, while the South would be disgusted since this is the exact reason the Civil War occurred.
This cartoon was produced as one of the many caricatures of Greeley meant to sway the public’s opinion against him. Nast, being a well known cartoonist, drawing these had a major impact because he is considered one of the best, if not the best, cartoonist at this time. The material was produced during this time due to the fact campaigns are occurring and propaganda is coming out for and against both candidates. The cartoon contains multiple aspects of slavery in it (the whipping in the front, branding in the back) that really impact the reader. Slavery being the issue causing Civil War and division between north and south is a very controversial issue and to depict a politician as a part of it during this time is maliciousness at its best. The sketch shows Greeley as this low farmer (the mixing of the words thrashing and threshing) that really does not deserve to be a presidential candidate, let alone president. The whipping of the Democrat is going back to slavery, of which Greeley claimed to be against, and is portraying him like a slave owner, an evil one at that. The way the man (being whipped) is drawn makes it seem like he is a black man and is showing Greeley going back on his word and forsaking his abolitionist role.

The main idea is of this political cartoon is that Greeley was unfit to be president and that shows him lying which during a campaign is not something a candidate wants people to believe about him.

NMD- "A Trustworthy Beast"

“A Trustworthy Beast”
“A Trustworthy Beast”

This political cartoon, titled "A Trustworthy Beast" was originally published for Harper's Weekly by William A. Rogers in October 1888. Rodgers, born in Ohio in 1854, was called into work at Harper's Weekly after Thomas Nast retired, and even though people said he never reached the power which Nast portrayed his cartoons with, he more skillfully presented his ideas than Nast. During the time in which this cartoon was published, Carnegie was working as to promote vertical integration of his steel company and control every aspect of its production, as well as the fact that Carnegie was working to get into other industries other than the steel industry as to expand his economic empire. The audience for this piece, since the cartoon was published in one of the most popular newspapers in the country at the time, was aimed at mainstream audiences, and the recognizable faces of Uncle Sam, Carnegie's signature Scotsman look and the many headed beast of Carnegie's beast all work in favor of the cartoon since they are images which are so easily recognized. This cartoon was produced because many of the American people at this time were extremely skeptical about business and the trusts because of the bad reputations which big business had become known for, and the purpose of the cartoons was to convince that because of Carnegie's strong reputation as a captain of indsutry, he could be trusted with this beast of industry and would not let it take control of the government or be harmful to the American people, making it a trustworthy beast. the main idea of this cartoon is that even though the American people and the American government, represented by Uncle Sam, are very disapproving of the trusts and monopolies in industry because of the harm they could cause, Carnegie was the perfect man to run a trust because his reputation as a captain of industry would work in his favor and he would not at all abuse the power which was given unto him, despite the beast's heads which symbolize the potential for harm. This cartoon is significant becasuse it helps solidify Carnegie's sterling reputation and helps to show that in the right hands, trusts can actually work in favor of the American labourer.

EPLT - "The Great Fear of the Period That Uncle Sam May be Swallowed by Foreigners: The Problem Solved"external image 03047v.jpg

“The Great Fear of the Period That Uncle Sam May be Swallowed by Foreigners: The Problem Solved” was published in San Francisco between 1860 and 1869 by White & Bauer a political cartoon publisher, created mainly for the English Americans who feared their jobs being replaced by immigrants. The stereotypes are severe in this cartoon, showing the Irish man with a pipe, cloth sack, and frumpy hat and tail coat, and the China man with his traditional small feet and shoes, stiff upright braided hair (exaggerated upright so audience could see the hair), and traditional Chinese clothes and hat. Since immigration majorly affected the East and West coasts of America, this political cartoon is pertinent to San Francisco. It resounds even greater in California as a whole because of the gold mines and railroads and the immigrant workers there. In the 1860s particularly, immigration was widespread and uncontrollable, and it attacked America from East and West, consuming its major cities and states. Thus the first panel shows Uncle Sam being consumed by Irish and Chinese men, both chosen because both were the dominating immigrants of California. With closer inspection, Atlantic is scribbled on the Irish man's side and Pacific is scribbled on the China man's, showing the oceans each party originated across from. In scene two, the Chinese man and Irish man have all but devoured Uncle Sam completely, showing that as more immigrants come to the United States, more of America is being destroyed. The last panel conveys the China man having devoured all of Uncle Sam and is even devouring the Irish man, wearing his garb. White & Bauer tried to convey Chinese as the dominant immigrant in California in the late 1860s, even replacing the Irish in jobs. Due to the Central Pacific Railroad, Chinese no longer appeared as the lower of the two immigrants. This was because of their courage with dangerous railroad work and their mastership of explosives to clear out mountains and blockades, something Europeans and European immigrants were not as complacent in doing. Chinese had taken over the work source on the railroads in California, where as the Irish mostly flourished in East America and with railroads there (because of lacking Chinese immigrants). Even though it is hard to make out, scene three's background's landscape are railroads. By stating “THE PROBLEM SOLVED” at the bottom of the cartoon, White & Bauer conveyed that yes, these immigrants were consuming America from its English descent, but they were also necessary, and Chinese immigrants contributed and were the most effective at doing their job efficiently in California and in West America.

KHW ~ Every Dog (No Distinction of Color) Has His Day

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“Every Dog (No Distinction of Color) Has His Day” was a political cartoon by Thomas Nast first published in Harper’s Weekly on Saturday, February 8th 1879. Nast, known as the “Father of American Cartoons”, was a German immigrant who began working for a small publication called Leslies Illustrated Newspaper at fifteen and then in 1862 got a job at Harper’s Weekly, a well established news journal which began in 1857. Nast was known for his political cartoons which often exposed corruption and incorporated history. In this cartoon Nast was criticizing the treatment of foreigners by American Society, in particular the Chinese who were being targeted by the California Working Men Party headed by Denis Kearney. Nast mocks Kearney who known as “a real American” and his movement for Chinese exclusion by comparing it to the movement of the Know Nothing Party in the 1850s. As a result of the Burlingame Treaty in 1868 Chinese immigrants had increasingly immigrated to America to work on the transcontinental railroad. Upon its completion a year later Chinese laborers began dominate the work force and as a result replaced natural born American citizens who quickly developed prejudices against them. Anti-Chinese sentiments grew and attempts to exclude them were common but Kearney was viewed as a radical often resorting to violence to get across his message though this type of reaction to foreigners was not uncommon and has been seen throughout history. With the forced removal of Native Americans and the enslaving of African Americans to the exclusion of the Irish, poor treatment of foreigners is a recurring theme in American history. The Chinese Man here is scolding at the board with new movements to pass laws excluding Chinese immigration and eradicating the “Chinese Problem”. Nast includes movements against the major foreign groups such as the attempt to move the Native Americans West and the Klu Klux Klan’s crusade against Blacks as a comparison to the movement against Chinese immigration. Created for the general public this cartoon was simply meant to bring to light the recurring issue with foreign prejudices in American Society and the movement against the Chinese at the time. Thomas Nast’s political cartoons were so effective because they reached more people, especially those who couldn’t read or understand English. By using stereotypical images for a Chinese person and an Indian even if people were unable to read the words they could see the unhappy expressions and key works such as names. Though this cartoon was probably meant for literate people because there was so much writing this concept was very important with the rising number of immigrants in America. The main audience was probably intended to affect the typical American citizen and show them the injustice that was occurring and that similar injustices had happened before. Though it was probably most offensive to the supporters of the movement to exclude Chinese immigrants and supporters of Kearney the cartoon could have also offended laborers who were being replaced by the Chinese. Meanwhile other immigrants may have seen it as a sign that people were paying attention to their situation and that not all people were against their presence in society. The fact that this was meant for anyone and everyone and also that it was published in a well known news publication made this a reliable source of information and therefore was more effective in spreading its message against the exclusion of Chinese.