Amending The Us Constitution

You’ve probably seen them in your local newspaper or online: political cartoons poking fun at politicians and government policies. Political cartoons often use humor, visual metaphors, satire and caricatures to make important points about American politics and American society in general. These cartoons reach out to people and sometimes get us to think about government in new and often interesting ways.

In political cartoons you can expect to see common metaphors and symbols. For example, many American political cartoonists portray Russia as a bear, China as a dragon and the United Kingdom as a lion. You are also likely to see America’s beloved Uncle Sam in many political cartoons.

In this section, we will discuss how political cartoons have been used throughout history. We will also give you information on some of the more famous political cartoonists and their work.

History of Political Cartoons

Although many Americans think of political cartoons only in relation to the politics of the United States, these cartoons have actually been used throughout the world for hundreds of years and are, in fact, older than the United States itself.

In fact, political cartoons played a large role in the French Revolution. Political cartoons of this era contributed to the fall of Marie Antoinette. Revolutionaries used cartoons to highlight the lavish lifestyle of the queen, often showing her in obscene and unflattering situations.

In 1754, Benjamin Franklin showed his support for the French and Indian War with his Join, or Die cartoon. This political cartoon, which shows a snake that has been severed into pieces, later appeared as a cartoon in support of the Revolutionary War.

Over the years, political cartoons have been used to comment on a variety of government policies and countless government officials. You’re also likely to see common metaphors, symbols and caricatures used in many of today’s political cartoons.

Political Cartoonists

Political cartoonists use their artistic skills to comment on American society and politics. Often, they use metaphor, satire and caricatures to make complex political situations more understandable to the general public.

While many political cartoonists reflect the opinions of the middle political ground, some of the more famous political cartoonists express the views of the very conservative or very liberal.

Political cartoonists can be published either online or in local or national newspapers. You might even find political cartoons published in some magazines or in a book as a collection.

One famous political cartoonist was Doug Marlette. Born on Dec. 6, 1949, Marlette wrote and drew the comic strip Kudzu and won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Marlette died on July 10, 2007, in a car accident.

Other political cartoonists in America include:

  • Jack Ohman
  • J. B. Handelsman
  • Garry Trudeau
  • Paul Conrad
  • Ron Cobb
  • Thomas Nast.

The works of the above cartoonists have been opening the public’s eyes to politics for a number of years, as have the works of other political cartoonists.