Political Catoons

From the Reconstruction Era and the Modern Age

By Cade Buckheit

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Modern Age - Political

This political cartoon is showing president Obama holding various documents that have words on them. It also features an elephant in a suit. In this cartoon, Obama seems to be calm, while the elephant expresses angrier features as the cartoon progresses. The elephant represents the congress and the republican party, while Obama only represents himself. The documents represent laws and ideas that they each are trying to pass. In the first three parts, Obama is suggesting bills to be passed and congress is firmly denying the bills. In the fourth, congress hands Obama a bill and Obama says No. Upon this, the elephant, representing congress, shouts out “Job Killer!” This cartoonist is trying to explain the relationship between the president and congress. They are saying that the president and the congress often disagree on things and often cannot pass bills. Obama and the congress are both against each other and do not compromise or work together. This goes against the ideal of democracy because if this continues to go on, then the government will not be able to get things done and laws passed.


Picture found at: https://orangeblanket.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/so-true-political-cartoon-illustrates-gop-games/

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Reconstruction Age - Political

In this cartoon, president Johnson with Lorenzo Thomas are standing “cornered” by a canon with the words congress on the side of it. Edwin Stanton is airing the cannon and there are other members of congress behind him. Stanton also holds a rammer with the words Tenure of Office Bill and there are cannonballs on the ground with the words justice inscribed on them. There is a sign that says “War Office” on it behind the congressman. This cartoon shows how the congress was against the president and wanted to impeach him. The cartoonist was trying to show how congress hated the president and was justified in trying to impeach him. This relates to the ideal of democracy because it showed how the president’s power didn't outweigh congress's power, and congress didn't outweigh the president.


Picture found at: http://www.historyteacher.net/AHAP/Weblinks/AHAP_Weblinks14.htm

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Modern Age - Economic

This political cartoon includes the statue of liberty and a giant wave towering over her. The wave has writing on it that says “3 Million illegal aliens per year.” The statue of liberty is saying a quote that cuts of at the end with her yelling in surprise when she sees the wave. This cartoon is fairly straightforward and includes obvious symbols, such as the wave representing the illegal immigrants and the Statue of Liberty representing the American people. The creator of this cartoon was trying to say that there are too many illegal immigrants coming into the US and they are overwhelming us. This cartoon connects to equal opportunities and the ideal of opportunity because it shows how some people will do anything to have equal opportunities even if they are not a legal american.


Picture found at: https://epluribusunumjcom2010.wordpress.com/cartoons/

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Reconstruction Age - Economic

In this political cartoon, a man holding a bag and with a sack on his back is walking towards a group of people. He is wearing a top hat and a suit and his bag says “Carpetbagger South” on it. This cartoon represents how northerners called carpetbaggers would move down to the south to steal the jobs of southerners. This connects to the ideal of opportunity because carpetbaggers tried to find opportunities and by doing so, took away jobs from the southerners. The author was trying to convey the carpetbaggers negatively, and did so why making his features non-proportionate and mean-looking.


Picture found at: https://www.pinterest.com/georgiabyrd1208/reconstruction/

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Modern Age - Social

In this political cartoon, there is a sinking boat that is tilted upward. On the top half of the boat there is a man who is relaxing and smoking. He is labeled the rich and is not underwater. In the middle section, the middle class is somewhat submerged in water and is struggling to stay alive by yelling and using buckets. The poor class at the very bottom and most underwater part of the ship consists of dead people and skeletons. The middle class people are exclaiming “The ship is sinking!” while the upper class refuses to notice and says “Oh yeah? For you maybe.” This cartoon is made to show how the different social classes differ in terms of success. The author is trying to say that the lower class people are stuck at the bottom and have nothing left, while the middle class is trying to fight to get out of the water, which represents poverty. The rich are nowhere near the water/poverty and are relaxing and having a good time while the rest of the boat struggles. This cartoon connects to the ideal equality and shows how aren't living up to this ideal by having different people’s wealth determine their social group.


Picture found at: http://alifeofthoughts.com/the-rising-of-cost-living/sinking-ship-inequality-cartoon/#axzz3UDrNdkJ1

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Reconstruction Age - Social

This cartoon shows an escalator for white people and a long and windy path with obstacles for the blacks. Both paths reach the voting booth, but the white’s path is much easier. The black person must pass a literacy test, a police man, poll tax, and much more that prevent him from voting. This cartoon is showing how whites were given special privileges that allowed them to vote, while the blacks often didn't make it to the booth. The author was trying to show how unequal the white and the blacks were treated and how much harder it was for the blacks. This disrespects our ideal of equality because it shows how one person can have unequal privileges compared to someone who has certain privileges.


Picture found at: http://gsfe5.weebly.com/reconstruction.html