Thomas Nast- Political Cartoons

In this paper, the idea that the middle class Americans were the pushing Orca behind the progressive, imperialistic, and socialist movements will be argued. This working-class, including the illiterate labor class and foreigners, were influenced more by the cartoons and engravings of Thomas Nasty than by the articles of journalists, newspaper publications, or the speeches of political leaders. From immediately after the Civil War to the beginning of the Progressive era, Anna’s drawings affected America politically and socially.

Nasty, a German immigrant and perhaps one of America’s most well-known cartoonists, was one of these working- class men.

During the Civil War, Nasty was known for Romantic, reminiscent wash drawings. These drawings portrayed the sentiment of people regarding the war. Also, they showed Anna’s Idealistic views about the objectives of the war. But as the war continued, Nasty matured politically and grew more policy-minded. The cause of the union came together more strongly with emancipation and equal citizenship.

Nasty was able to portray the political and social meaning of the war better than words could express; he and many other middle class Americans became a national force during this time of American nationhood.

Before Nasty began cartooning, his wood engravings showed American scenes from the Civil War to the turn of the century. He highlighted all of the major political processes, elections, and scandals in the government with his engravings.

The major issues that the American people faced after the war along with the corruption and power of political party machines and bosses was the unknown question of how the American government would resolve the political and social Issues that confronted freed Black men, Immigrants, the working- class, and corporate capitalists.

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Nasty and other working- class Americans came more politically aware during the Civil War. Supporting Lincoln policies of saving the Union and emancipating the slaves, Nasty had a strong appeal to a vision in which all races and ethnic groups would live together peacefully as American citizens.

Nasty was committed to portraying the subtleties of the War to Americans. He drew his cartoons with great passion as he tried to show the immoralities of the American people towards Blacks, Indians, and Chinese immigrants. Politically, Nasty used his cartoons to help Abraham Lincoln win his presidential election in 1864. Since Nasty opposed both slavery and secession, he portrayed the President as a strong, brave and soft- spoken leader even though newspapers and magazines described him as a coward. Sing his talent and popularity to support Lincoln cause, Nasty drew “Compromise with the South” on September 3, 1804. The cartoon was widely circulated for use in President Lincoln campaign and it criticized the Democratic platform; Lincoln salad Tanat Nasty was ten Test recruiting sergeant nee Ana. (Paine 69) The Democrats portrayed the war as a failure, bashed emancipation, and advocated a cease- fire and negotiations with the Confederacy. Nasty, a strong Republican Party supporter, also helped Rutherford B. Hayes and Ulysses Grant to win their presidential elections.

Once when asked who the foremost figure was in civic life to have emerged during the period of the Civil War, Grant said, “l think, Thomas Nasty. He did as much as any one man could to preserve the Union and bring the war to an end. ” After Hayes had won his presidential election in 1876 against Samuel Tildes by a narrow margin, he commented that Nasty was “the most powerful single- handed aid we had. When Nasty changed parties in the presidential election of 1884 to support Grover Cleveland with his work, Cleveland became the first Democratic president since 1856.

After this election, Nasty became known as the president maker. America was full of subject matter for Nasty. Scandals were everywhere during the time in which the country was becoming an industrial nation. Railroads were spreading, factories were being built, and cities were fast becoming crowded with immigrants that supplied cheap labor. As America changed, middle class Americans strongly began to push forward progressive and socialist events. Their platforms consisted of ideas to throw out political corruption and political machines such as New Work’s Tammany Hall.

Tammany Hall was an organization that had merged with the Democratic Party together with the Society of SST. Tammany and led city politics in New York City. Tammany Hall worked with the Mayor’s office to gather votes and place their leaders in important elections. In the same manner, the Republicans cooperated with the Union League Club in order to achieve the same goal. In 1860, William Tweed became the leader of Tammany Hall ND during this time the Tweed Ring played host to a series of reoccurring scandals; an estimated one hundred to two hundred million dollars were swindled from New York City.

William Tweed became known as Boss Tweed all around America as he stole from the pockets of unsuspecting tax payers. Boss Tweed was so powerful that when Nasty began his campaign in Harpers Weekly against him, Harper Brothers lost their contract to provide New York schools with books because they refused to stop the circulation of Anna’s publications. Nasty also refused a five hundred thousand alular bribe to end his campaign. Nasty depicts Boss Tweed’s quote, muff have the liberty of voting for anyone you please; but we have the liberty of counting in anyway we please,” in “Going Through the Form of Universal Suffrage. In “The Brains,” he drew a picture of Boss Tweed, but replaces his head with a bag of money, and the caption reads, “Well, what are you going to do about it? ” Nasty also invented the term “Tammany Tiger,” as he portrayed a ferocious tiger poised proudly at the center of a huge coliseum. The tiger stands over slaughtered Columbia, the robed symbol of American liberty, and growls defiantly at the viewer while an enormous crowd watches from the stands. He provoked Americans with these drawings in order to obtain their support in his attempt to overthrow the Tweed Ring.

Soon afterwards the public outcry became unbearable and Boss Tweed is quoted as telling Nasty at one point, “Let’s stop those damned pictures. I don’t care so much what the papers write about me- my constituents can’t read, but damn it, they can see pictures. ” Boss Tweed was finally arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison by the courts after his trial. It was mainly ten outcry AT ten American puddle Tanat Azalea Boss I weed. However, Tweed managed to escape from prison in less than a year with the help of his contacts and he fled to Spain disguised as an American sailor.

He was caught by the Spanish police; they recognized him by Thomas Nasty drawings of Tweed that had been circulated throughout Europe. In the sass’s, Nasty drew cartoons that attacked the Irish- Americans and Catholics, who were against progressivism because of their anti- black attitude, support for the Democratic Party, and because of their prominence in Boss Tweed’s Tammany Hall. Not until President Woodrow Wilson did the Democratic Party have a progressive movement as part of their platform.

After he had brought down the Tweed Ring, Nasty continued to fight against corruption as he depicted an angry Justice trampling over a snake- infested man representing inflation, lies, corruption, and fraud in “The Duty of the Hour” on April 1, 1876. After the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, Andrew Johnson became President. Nasty used his artistic skill to fight against his policies. He stirred the emotions of the Northeastern American middle class as he drew a cartoon with President Johnson kicking out the Freedman’s Bureau by means of his veto, with scattered Blacks coming out of it.

Attempting to show Americans the crudeness of Johnson, Nasty drew “Pardon Colombia,” in which he shows Confederate politicians and generals applying for pardons, which would give them the right to vote and hold office. He contrasts them with a black Union soldier who has lost his leg and does not have the right to vote. Also, he drew “Emancipation” as he sought to link emancipation to patriotism with the cheering female figure of Columbia, an early symbol of the United States.

Familiar to cost Americans, Nasty referred to his cartoons as Shakespearean plays as he tried to appeal the American middle class public to support his ideas. He was successful and in “Reconstruction and How It Works,” he portrayed Andrew Johnson as Ago and a black Union veteran as Othello. In another one of his Shakespearean referenced cartoons, Nasty shows Jeff Davis as Ago and Hiram Revels as the Moor. Revels became the first black senator and he occupied Jeff Davis’ seat.

Nasty quotes, “For that I do suspect the lusty moor hath leapt into my seat; the thought whereof doth like a poisonous mineral grew my inwards” from Othello. When General Grant was held captive by Johnny’s policies and a Supreme Court decision which called into question the authority of military trials for civilians when civil courts were open, Nasty depicted him as Prometheus. During the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, he parodied “The Death of Caesar” by portraying the Republican leaders conducting the trial in “The Political of the Bogus Caesar. His cartoons of the new influx of Chinese immigrants show how they were mistreated when they came to America even though Chinese labor was the key to the building and completion of many railroads in the West. In “The Comet of Chinese Labor,” he shows the arrival of the strike- busting Chinese people. “Pacific Chivalry’ portrays a California ruffian whipping and pulling the hair of John Chainman, who was the symbol of the Chinese immigrants that had come to America, and “The Chinese Question” shows Columbia defending John China man from American attacks.

In 1874, Nasty shows men drinking with a skeleton at a bar; this anti-alcohol cartoon was called, “The Bar of Destruction. ” He drew these cartoons in order to help middle class Americans understand the intricacies of the overspent, realize their own wrongdoings, and to take initiative with the progressive, socialist, Ana Imperialistic movements America Ana Racine Its crescendo as far as becoming an imperialistic nation and Anna’s cartoons of Uncle Sam influenced the minds of Americans toward that direction even more. “Uncle Cam’s Thanksgiving Dinner” marks the highpoint of Anna’s Reconstruction idealism.

He drew this on November 20, 1869. It shows Uncle Sam and Columbia hosting all the people of the world who had been attached to the United States by its promise of self- government and democracy. Cartoons of Uncle Sam influenced Americans to allow the U. S. Government to make some imperialistic moves in Latin America. Earlier in 1885, Nasty shows the more powerful countries “fighting” for territory in the weaker countries in his cartoon, “The World’s Plunderers. ” A few decades after this picture World War I was taking place in Europe and posters of Uncle Sam influenced Americans to go to war for the sake of their country.

In World War II, Uncle Sam posters circulated all around America as many volunteers were recruited to go fight in the battle lines alongside the allied soldiers. Nasty popularized the elephant as the symbol of the Republican Party and the donkey as the symbol of the Democratic Party; a staunch Republican, he liked the elephant as a symbol of his own party because it had been known as an animal for its dignity, strength, and intelligence since as far back as Roman times. The donkey had appeared as a symbol for the Democratic Party in the asses when Andrew Jackson was President; Nasty used his skill to enhance and popularize it.

Socially, Anna’s most famous achievement is most likely his Christmas Drawings. In 1862, his Christmas drawings marked the first appearance of the Santa Claus we all know today. To most Americans, Santa was known as a more religious-type figure before Nasty depicted him as a citizen of the world. Because Santa Claus’ home was the North Pole, he did not belong to any one country. The idea that Santa had a workshop and elves to help him also came about from the works of Nasty. In “Santa Claus in Camp” depicts blue- caped soldiers waiting for Santa to give them their gifts.

Nasty was inspired to produce seventy six Christmas engravings over the next twenty four years. Nasty put it all into visual form: a sleigh, minder, Jolly old elves, filling the stockings hung by the chimney, and so forth. By the late sass’s when Anna’s Santa Claus gained popularity, Christmas day was legally established as December 25 in all states and territories in the United States. This concept of Christmas and the holidays brought families and people closer together as they took breaks from their Jobs and went on vacations or spent time with their families. Christmas also began the move to commercial and economic interests.

Stores began including drawings of Santa in their ads and tying it with Christmas sales and promotions. It is hard to tell what Christmas and the customs that go along with it would be like today without Anna’s Christmas drawings. Nasty influenced America greatly in both the social and political aspects of American life. His engravings and cartoons influenced the American working class by challenging them to stand against the Establishment in order to preserve their interests. His cartoons helped America to realize the extent that progressive and socialist movements had on the contemporary issues far more than writings or speeches did.

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Thomas Nast- Political Cartoons. (2017, Nov 01). Retrieved from

Thomas Nast- Political Cartoons
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