Analyzing Political Cartoons

In the 1890s, political cartoons provided important commentary on the
major economic, political, and social issues of the day. Cartoon
artists employed symbolism, exaggeration, labeling, analogy, and irony
to express their viewpoint.Select the following cartoon:
The Big Stick in the Caribbean Sea (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
FOUND BELOWLook closely at the cartoon you have selected and write down your
initial reactions, you will not need to include these initial reactions
your assignment, but they will help you complete the assignment once you
have finished the exercise.Then go to the Chapter 4, Section 4.3 of the textbook and look at the
activity “Analyzing Primary Sources.” You will find it under the
section on Yellow Journalism. (This is very important.) Please note you
will not be able to view this on some devices and will need to use a computer.After completing the activity, answer the following items:
Explain the character(s) in the cartoon.
Describe the symbols and actions the artist employs in the cartoon.
Describe the issues the cartoon raises.
Analyze and explain what the cartoon says about the consequences of the Spanish American War for the countries occupied.
Describe how your understanding of the cartoon changed after doing the analysis portion of this exercise.
The combined answers should be one page, including your reference
list. Your answers to these questions should be accurate, thorough, and
written in complete sentences. Be sure to cite the textbook at least
once and reference the textbook in APA formatting. If you need more
guidance, you can read this Sample Assignment ( FOUND BELOW), so you will have an idea about the type of response your instructor will be looking for.Week Two Assignment Sample What character(s) are in the cartoon: In the cartoon we see Uncle Sam, the recently acquired territories of the Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam. We also see the various states, a Chinese American, a Native American, and an African American. What symbols and actions does the artist employ in the cartoon: The cartoon uses the symbolism of a classroom in which Uncle Sam, or America, is the teacher. The Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam are identified using labelling, are portrayed using racist exaggeration, and are depicted as bad students who Uncle Sam is in the process of punishing them. The American states are also identified using labelling, and are portrayed as well behaved white students; the white students are portrayed without racist exaggeration of their features. An African American is depicted cleaning the windows; racist exaggeration is used in his portrayal. A Native American sits by the door, seemingly struggling to read, again, racist exaggeration is used in this depiction. A Chinese American stands outside the door, depicted using racist exaggeration. What issues does the cartoon raise:The cartoon raises issues of dominance, racism, progress, and paternalism. By presenting the American Empire as a classroom, the cartoon raises the issue ofracism and American superiority. Both Uncle Sam as the teacher, and the States as model students are portrayed as white, perpetuating the idea that white Americans were more advanced. African Americans, Native Americans, Chinese Americans, and the people of the Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, were portrayed in racist caricature as the reluctant beneficiaries of Uncle Sam’s instruction. The cartoon depicts the newly acquired American Empire as a classroom in which “civilization” is taught. The cartoon illustrates the kind of paternalism that we see in Kipling’s poem “The White Man’s Burden”. As Barnes and Bowles (2015) point out “The poem suggests that providing noble service to the inhabitants of the developing world justified the desire for empire. Viewed as a benevolent enterprise, imperialism also made the domination of another nation’s economic and political structure seem necessary and helpful” (Section 4.1). What does the cartoon say about the consequences of the Spanish American War for the countries occupied? The cartoon illustrates how the countries occupied by the Spanish American war lost their right to determine their own future. Instead, their future was determined for them by the United States. Instead of determining for themselves who and what they were, they were placed on the bottom of a hierarchy, treated as if they were less civilized, and in need of strict discipline. All the while the United States was gaining access to their resources, and using their location for strategic military purposes. How did your understanding of the cartoon change after doing the analysis exercise? Before doing the exercise, I recognized that the cartoon was depicting a classroom, with different races of students. The analysis exercise helped me to better understand the classroom in the cartoon was a symbol of the American Empire after the Spanish American War. The exercise also helped me see the way that racism both at home and abroad were being depicted in the cartoon. Source: Barnes, L. & Bowles, M. (2014).The American story: Perspectives and encounters from 1877. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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