A03 06MadTomInARage CartoonAnalysis Essay

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Tammy Trieu
Mrs. Albano
AP US History
15 July 2015
03.06 Mad Tom In A Rage Political Cartoon Analysis The cartoon was published by an anonymous artist in a Federalist paper in 1802. The cartoonist is a Federalist, as this was published in a Federalist paper. In the cartoon, there is a conflict represented by the devil and Jefferson pulling a pillar while an eagle is trying to stop them from taking it away. The devil, a universal symbol and representation of all things evil, is helping Jefferson pull this pillar. Because Jefferson believed God created the world but then abandoned it, he is seen as a friend of the devil. This shows Jefferson as the enemy of the government because it was a religiously founded nation to many people. On the floor beside Jefferson’s feet is a bottle of wine and a glass which shines a negative light on him. The cartoonist wants people to show Jefferson as a dangerous drunk who is recklessly trying to destroy the government. The pillar has the words “Fed” and “Govr”, which is most likely short for “federal government” since this was published in a Federalist paper. The eagle on top of the pillar is the national symbol. The bald eagle represents freedom and honor. The cartoonist creates a contrast between the eagle and the devil to powerfully highlight that Jefferson was a bad person that doesn’t represent freedom or honor. The eagle is trying to protect the pillar from being taken away. A pillar also holds strong meaning when it comes to government, representing stability which is an important factor in holding up a nation. In Christian symbolism, a pillar is seen as a bridge between heaven and earth. Possibly, the pillar and the eagle together represent the strong government itself. In this case, the artist is trying to say that the strong government should be protected from Jeffersonians, impacted by Jefferson. There is a huge conflict between Federalists and Jeffersonians. This strong government that the artist is trying to portray was built by Washington and Adams, whose names are written on the pillar as well, in “G. Was” and “J. Ada”. Both George Washington and John Adams were…