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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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A Cartoonist Explains the Vietnam War

Despite Nixon's campaign promises to end the war, his first term in office saw an expansion rather than a reduction of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. By 1970 the reasons for this involvement had become increasingly unclear.

Item Type: Cartoon
A Cartoonist Spoofs Anti-Communist Crusaders

This 1949 Herb Block cartoon highlights the dangers to civil liberty and intellectual freedoms many Americans saw posed by overzealous and anti-Communist crusaders in the early years of the Cold War. Such fears were not unfounded: during the postwar [...]

Item Type: Cartoon
Harper's Weekly Mocks the Theories of Henry George

In this political cartoon from Harper's Weekly, the theories of Henry George, the Workingman's Party candidate for Mayor of New York, are depicted as leading to mob violence and misrule. With a caption featuring a quote from George (taken out of [...]

Andrew Carnegie Plays a Double Role

The millionaire industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie represented the conflicting roles played by the late nineteenth-century's "captains of industry." One of the era's most generous philanthropists, Carnegie's Gospel of Wealth held that [...]

A Figure of Justice Protects the Chinese Immigrant

In this political cartoon from Harper's Weekly magazine, illustrator Thomas Nast portrays the figure of Columbia, a symbol of American democracy, comforting and protecting a Chinese man from a working-class immigrant mob. Nast likely created the [...]

An English Magazine Portrays Irish Americans as "Wild Beasts"

This cartoon from the British humor magazine Judy presents the Irish American as a dangerous, caged animal. American illustrated periodicals presented similar animal-like images of Irish immigrants, although this cartoon also implies that migration [...]

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 [...]

The Day We Celebrate

This cartoon by Thomas Nast depicts a riot that took place on March 17, 1867 in New York City between Irish immigrants and the Metropoliton Police. Just two years after the New York City draft riots, violence related to politics remained a feature [...]

The Irish Remain "The One Element That Won't Mix"

This political cartoon from 1880 depicts the Irish as "the one element that won't mix" in America's melting pot of immigrants. Clutching a green flag and dagger, the Irishman is characterized as a violent proponent of Irish nationalism. His sash [...]

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper Celebrates a National Reunion

This cartoon from the May 29, 1869 issue of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper celebrates the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad linking the eastern and western halves of the United States, but its caption also hints at the hope for a [...]

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