Monthly Archives: February 2010

Lincoln vs. McClellan

                 This cartoon is about the presidential election of 1864 between republican Abraham Lincoln and democrat General George B. McClellan.  1865 on the parcel represents the inauguration.

     Columbia is written on the bottom of her American flag colored dress, and she symbolizes America.  Usually, she also is wearing a crown.

     Lincoln is next to Columbia saying, “Guefs I’m the Man to carry it-I CARRIED IT BEFORE.”  He has a wagon called A. Lincoln’s Union Express with Emigration, Monroe Doctrine, Pacific Railw[ay], and Emancipation.    

     Emigration is when people from other countries move to a country (in this cartoon it would be to the United States).  During the 1860s, there were 30.4 million immigrants.  The Monroe Doctrine is named from President James Monroe’s 1823 address to Congress.  He said that Europe should not have colonies in the Western Hemisphere and that the United States would not participate in European Wars.

     Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 which gave government funding toward the Pacific Railroad that went from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean.  It gave Land Grants and U.S. Government Bonds to the Union Pacific Railroad, the Central Pacific Railroad, and the Union Pacific Railroad to forma transcontinental railroad.  The railroad was completed in 1869.

     Emancipation means to free a slave from bondage.  The word is used in terms of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.  President Lincoln wrote this document that freed the slaves in the American south.

     The Democratic candidate in the 1864 election, McClellan, has an empty wheelbarrow with Chicago Platform written on it.  The Chicago Platform was a platform to negotiate with the American South during the Civil War.  People thought that the South would keep slavery and the war would end under this plan.

     It is obvious that the person who drew the cartoon thought that Lincoln had more to offer the United States than McClellan.  Lincoln won his second presidential election in 1864.




Carpetbaggers were Northerners who traveled to the South in the United States during 1865-1877, the Reconstruction period, to buy land in the South because it was cheap.  Southerners did not like the carpetbaggers and this political cartoon is a famous picture Thomas Nast drew in 1872 to show that.

Upton Sinclair

    Journalist Upton Sinclair was one of the muckrakers mentioned in an earlier blog entry.  He ran for governor of California in 1926 and 1934 wanting to end poverty and unemployment in California.  Some Americans thought he was a socialist, but internationally, he was known as a capitalist.

Yellow Journalism

     William Randolph Hearst of The New York World and Joseph Pulitzer of The New York Journal were rival publishers during the 1800s.  They both wrote in a sensationalist         style called yellow journalism or the yellow press.  It was called yellow journalism because The New York World had lots of color, including yellow, which was a hard color to print.

       Both newspapers wrote about the Cuba Civil War.  To appeal to the masses, both papers exaggerated the Spain’s attacks towards Cuba and slanted the readers toward Cuba.


              This political cartoon is by Joseph Keppler, published in 1889 in  “Puck” magazine called “The Bosses of the Senate.”

Journalists and other writers beginning in the 1860s who uncovered social problems in society, were called muckrakers by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.  He coined the term and it caught on. 

            Interestingly enough, first they focused on railroads and the Standard Oil trust.  These two topics are in my earlier blog postings.  In the 1900s, they focused on political scandals focusing on political machines.  Political machines are groups that are headed by bosses and staffed with campaign workers.  The bosses rewarded the workers with jobs in that political party. 

            Some of the muckrakers include Upton Sinclair and Lincoln Steffens.  Steffens wrote a book called The Shame of the Cities. 

            Some other things that muckrakers wrote about were child labor, poverty, family, prostitution and natural recourses, women, and blacks.

Democratic Party

In this political cartoon, the donkey is depicting President Andrew Jackson and representing the Copperhead Press.  Underneath him is the sleeping E.M. Stanton.  

This cartoon is drawn by Thomas Nast.  It is through his drawing of the donkey that the Democratic Party began using the donkey as their symbol.

Andrew Jackson represented everyday people and wanted to get rid of the electoral college.  He was elected to the presidency in 1828.  In 1829, his inaugural celebration was different than the previous presidents.  His guests brought liquor and wore muddy boots; they ruined the furniture and china.  Usually, the inauguration was a classy event, but Jackson made it a party.

Republican Party

The Republican Party formed in 1854 with the causes of the abolition of slavery, high protective tariffs, and finishing a transcontinental railroad.  

Thomas Nast, a political cartoonist for Puck magazine drew this political cartoon that began using the elephant as the Republican Party’s symbol.

In the political cartoon, the Republican vote is dominating all the other parties’ votes.  He is trampling onto repudiation, inflation and reform.



Cornelius Vanderbilt is the man who is standing on the railroad tracks.  Vanderbilt was on the board of directors for railroads including Eerie Railway, the New Jersey Central, the New Haven, the Hartford, the New York, and the Harlem.

New York Central Railroad used to be in control by Erastus Corning from, but

Cornelius Vanderbilt took over the railroad.  Erastus Corning is probably the head on the left side of the picture.

Jay Gould owned stock in the Union Pacific and is the head on the right side facing the picture.

Railroads charged high prices because they were monopolies.

Jay Cooke and Company invested too much money in railroads and caused the Panic of 1873, which was an economic recession.