What Are The Four Political Cartoons Of The 1800's

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“Political cartoons are vivid primary sources that offer intriguing and entertaining insights into the public mood, the underlying cultural assumptions of an age, and attitudes toward key events or trends of the times.” (Burack; Interpreting Political Cartoons). This political cartoon, by artist Bernhard Gilliam, questions the “hardwork” of four of the wealthiest men during the industrial revolution of the 1800’s. It illustrates railroad tycoons Jay Gould and Cornelius Vanderbilt, as well as retail magnate Marshall Field, and financier Russell Sage. Each of the robber barons appear “fat” with success and money. They are well dressed, have full stomachs and are resting on bags of their millions as a result of their perceived accomplishments. These moguls and their empires are safe…show more content…
Each of these enterprises make up the industries of the four wealthy men. In addition to the named fields, each sign also bears the salary that the worker could expect to earn. Despite the millions that Gould, Vanderbilt, Field and Sage sit upon, working men could expect to earn from a high salary of $11.00 to a low of $ 6.00 for their back breaking work. In addition to the men physically lifting the raft and barons to safety, the raft is constructed from various tools created as a result from mass production. The raft is constructed of items such as shovels, lumber, gears and textiles. The construction of the raft from these materials further supports the idea of the tycoons being lifted from hard times by the production of the working man. The working men appear to be beaten from the rough seas of long working hours, dangerous conditions and strenuous activity. Even the title of the cartoon, “The Protectors of Our Industries,” causes the viewer to question who is really the protector of industry and who truly supports the the welfare of the

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