Herb - social history for every classroom

Search

Herb - social history for every classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

A Cartoonist Depicts "The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things"

A bestial Irishman, his anger inflamed by pro-Irish political broadsides and "demon rum," represents a veritable powder keg of potential violence in this 1871 Thomas Nast cartoon. The ape-like features are typical of the depictions of the Irish used by Nast and other Anglo-American cartoonists, newspaper editors, writers, and opinion-makers, who were unsettled by the influx of Irish immigrants to the United States. The association of the Irish with violence, meanwhile, stemmed from the bloody legacy of a nationalist and peasant protest tradition in Ireland, as well as from fears aroused by events like the 1863 Draft Riots and the seeming Irish penchant for drunkenness and brawling.

The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things
Source | Thomas Nast, "The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things," wood engraving, Harper's Weekly, 2 September 1871.
Creator | Thomas Nast
Item Type | Cartoon
Cite This document | Thomas Nast, “A Cartoonist Depicts "The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things",” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed December 11, 2018, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/640.

Print and Share