A History of Political CartooningSatire in a Glance Darryl Cagle’s Professional Cartoonists Index 12/31/05
Benjamin Franklin—Considered the first political cartoonist. His most famous cartoon • What is the cartoon about? • What event or issue inspired the cartoon? • What symbols are in the cartoon? What are they and what do they represent? • What is Franklin’s opinion? Why the comma?
Join, or Die…in 2008 Robert Ariail, The State, South Carolina, July 1, 2008
The Civil War…. Jefferson Davis - Confederate President Not everyone thought highly of him. Consider…
OR… Up side down. What’s the message? Right side up
Another famous Civil War era cartoonist was Thomas Nast. …although his face may not be familiar, he did give to the world a very familiar face… HO! HO! HO!
Though we know Nast best because he gave us an image of Santa, in his day, he was best known for his political cartoons. The following cartoon was produced following the Civil War as part of an attack on paper money. Nast was a really strong “hard-money” guy…he preferred “hard” money—gold coins. VS.
Those who preferred the gold standard felt that the gold actually was money. Paper money, on the other hand, was merely a metaphor for money; it represented the idea of money, but was not real money. Consider these: George Bernard Shaw “You have to choose [as a voter] between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.” Voltaire (1694-1778) “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value — zero.” Daniel Webster, speech in the Senate, 1833“We are in danger of being overwhelmed with irredeemable paper, mere paper, representing not gold nor silver; no sir, representing nothing but broken promises, bad faith, bankrupt corporations, cheated creditors and a ruined people.” or “Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money." Article One, Section Ten, United States Constitution "No state shall emit bills of credit, make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts, coin money—-."
With those thoughts in mind, consider this Nast cartoon: Nast used a rag doll to represent a real baby in this cartoon to juxtapose to the paper to feed the baby. As a result, the slang expression for money became“ragmoney”.
A good observer ofcartoons never takesanything for granted. Nast was a master atmaking every detailcount. Why did he include each detailof this cartoon? What is his message? What satiric techniquesdoes he employ?
The World of Dr. Seuss NOW! And then….
From 1941 to 1943 Theodore Seuss Geisel was the chief editorialcartoonist for the New York newspaper PM and drew over 400 political cartoons. Here are two. More can be found in the book Dr.Seuss Goes to War by historian Richard H. Minear (New Press 1999). What’s familiar to you? What’s Geisel’s message? May 22, 1941
Another Geisel cartoon. What’s the message here? Who’s Lindbergh? What does Geisel think of him? June 24, 1941
More recently….. Here is what one Richmond, Virginia newspaper cartoonist thought of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, May 22, 1954. What’s the message here?
References: Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education. Retrieved 31 December 2005 http://www.fame.org/NotableQuotes.asp. “It’s No Laughing Matter.” Library of Congress. Retrieved 31 December 2005 http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/political_cartoon/resources.html. Minear, Richard. “A Catalog of Political Cartoons.” 2000. Retrieved 31December 2005 http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/ speccoll/dspolitic/Frame.htm. Go to practice cartoons!