Political Cartoons

By Owen Cordes

Reconstruction Era- Segregation

This cartoon represents the voting restrictions that were placed on freedmen, while whites were given an easy path to equal rights. This path was represented by the escalator, while the blacks had a windy road with hurdles to get over. These hurdles were labeled Literacy Tests, Poll Tax, and Grandfather Clause because these were all laws passed to keep blacks from voting. There were also people along the way such as a Ku Klux Klan member and an angry farmer representing a Southern white man who was against freedmen. Both these were people who acted to prevent freedmen from equality.


This cartoon represents equality because it shows a negative aspect of the United States that moved us further from equal rights.

Reconstruction Era- Carpet Baggers

The man on top of the bag represents a Northern carpetbagger. His large bag being escorted by guards is exaggerated in size and is filled with weapons. The women underneath the bag represents a Southerner who is being crushed by the carpetbagger. This symbolizes the Southerners and their society being damaged by these Northerners. This artist was against carpetbaggers and wanted to stop them.


This has to due with the ideal of opportunity because while carpetbaggers were just trying to generate more opportunities for themselves, they ended up hindering the opportunities of others.

Reconstruction Era- President V.S. Congress

The man who looks like a king on the left symbolizes Andrew Johnson and his abuse of his powers, while the men on the right represent Congress and how they were failing to prevent the President from doing so. This is shown by Johnson looking happy and dancing, while a member of Congress is collapsing. The text on the bottom, "Elevation- At the White House" and "Depression- At the Tribune Office" also serves to represent the lopsided power since the White House is the President's domain and the Tribune Office is Congress's.


This cartoon symbolizes democracy because Andrew Johnson was threatening democracy, and it was up to Congress to preserve it.

Modern Day- Segregation

This cartoon shows us that our communities can be segregated even today. The children on the left have nicer clothing and their school is exclusive to the wealthy as shown by the sign on the door. The children on the right have more ragged clothing and they can only afford to go to the "poor only" school.


This cartoon represents equality and shows us that while segregation is not as large of an issue, it is still around. The children were definitely not equal to each other.

Modern Day- Mexican Immigration

This cartoon shows an exaggerated, oversized sign and a small border patrol building with two guards. This sign says "No Jobs." One of the guards says that they have tried everything to keep the Mexican's out, and he implies that this is the only thing that worked because they come to the U.S. for jobs. This cartoon was drawn by someone who is against Mexican immigration and wants it to end.


This symbolizes opportunity because Mexicans, like carpetbaggers, are only trying to give themselves more opportunity, but sometimes they can end up draining other people's by taking jobs.

Modern Day- President V.S. Congress

In this cartoon the President, represented by a cowboy, has two guns labeled "veto" and "executive orders." Both of these are checks and balances that the President can use to override Congress. Since Congress is currently primarily Republican, and the President is a Democrat, some think that he overuses these two "guns." This artist is one of those people.


This symbolizes democracy and relates to Johnson overusing these powers. Obama is not as corrupt as Johnson, but some people still that that he may abuse his powers.

Cartoon Citations- In Order