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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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"The New Temptation on the Mount"

In 1898 the United States won the Spanish-Cuban-American war and took control of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. That same year, it also annexed the Hawaiian islands. This 1899 cartoon reflects the belief held by many anti-imperialists that [...]

"Civilization Begins at Home"

The beginning of U.S. expansion overseas, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, coincided with the peak years of racial violence and lynchings in the United States. Meanwhile, jingoists insisted that the United States should spread "civilization" to [...]

A British Print Satirizes "A Society of Patriotic Ladies"

During the revolutionary era, cheap prints depicting current events were in demand in both England and the colonies. This 1775 British print presented a scene in Edenton, North Carolina, where fifty-one women had signed a declaration in support of [...]

Tags: Boycotts
Item Type: Cartoon
A Cartoonist Depicts "The Cuban Melodrama"

This political cartoon, published in Puck in June, 1896, depicts the U.S. as a handsome male hero saving a greatful female "Cuba" from the villainous male figure of "Spain."

A Fight Breaks Out Among Early Congressmen

The early Congress was an occasionally volatile experiment in Democracy, as this somewhat crude 1798 cartoon demonstrates. On February 15 of that year, an insult uttered by Rep. Roger Griswold of Connecticut directed to Rep. Matthew Lyon of Vermont [...]

A Protestant Nation Is Threatened on the Shores of the "American River Ganges"

In this 1871 political cartoon, which appeared in Harper's Weekly magazine, Thomas Nast predicts dire consequences for American citizens and institutions (elected government and public schools) because of the perceived influence of the Roman [...]

A Young American Decides to Fight Fascism in Spain

Large numbers of American college students expressed increasing activism against war in the early 1930s, connecting international war with issues like labor, minority rights, and economic injustice at home. The rise of fascism in Europe, however, [...]

An Economist Declares Mexicans "An Undesirable Class of Residents"

Discussions of the "Mexican problem" in the early 20th century often revolved around issues of race and culture, much as they did with other immigrant groups. Samuel Bryan published this study of Mexican immigrants in a leading Progressive social [...]

A Social Scientist Urges Americans to Give Mexicans "a Fair Chance in Life"

Progressive social scientists, like economist Alvin S. Johnson, disagreed with those who held Mexican and other immigrants as racially inferior an undesirable. Instead, he and his peers claimed that Mexican government and culture were "inferior" and [...]

A Social Worker Calls Upon Unions to Accept Mexican Immigrants

Ernestine Alvarado, of New York's YWCA, sharply criticized Americans who disparaged Mexico and did not welcome Mexican immigrants. She defended Mexican immigrants, calling them "bold dreamers," and castigated nativist stereotypes and unwelcoming [...]

Item Type: Speech

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