“The Bosses of the Senate” by J. Ottmann Lith. Co. after Joseph Keppler
Lithograph, colored, 1889-01-23 This often copied cartoon is an essential work of art for many history textbooks and lessons about Congress. Joseph Keppler was an Austrian immigrant who sailed to America in the middle of the nineteenth-century. He was a humorous illustrator who sought to exploit the dishonesty of politics in this time. The cartoon depicts corporate interests, including the steel, copper, oil, iron, sugar, tin industries. Joseph Keppler sketched the cartoon, which was published in Puck on January 23, 1889. The cartoon is showing an entrance to the house, depicted in the cartoon as the "people’s entrance," secure and barred. The house stands unfilled while the monopolies have control of the floor, working underneath the slogan: "This is the Senate of the Monopolists by the Monopolists and for the Monopolists!"
Keppler’s cartoon replicated the remarkable development of American business in the 1880s and also the troubling drift toward concentration of industries to the point of becoming a monopoly, and its unwarranted effect on government. This widespread perception backed to Congress’s passing of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1890. The Sherman-Antitrust Act allowed the Government to initiate accounts against trusts and monopolies to disband them. Anyone starting such groups was subjected to fines of $5,000 and one year in jail. Persons and businesses going through struggling losses because of monopolies were allowed to sue in court for triple the amount of damages. The Sherman-Antitrust Act was intended to reinstate competition but was lightly phrased and unsuccessful to describe such serious terms as “trust,” “conspiracy,” and “monopoly.” 5 years later, the Supreme Court pulled apart the Sherman-Antitrust Act in the case of the United States v. E. C. Knight Company. The Court ruled that the American Sugar Refining Company, which was one of the other defendants in the case, had not broken the law even though the company controlled roughly 98 percent of all sugar refining in the United States during this time. The Court view reasoned that the company’s control of production did not establish a total control of trade.
"The Sacrilegious Candidate" G. Hamilton
September 19, 1896 This political cartoon "The Sacrilegious Candidate" is portraying presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan and was published on September 19, 1896. It illustrates Bryan holding a cross that has “The Sacrilegious Candidate” written underneath it. Bryan was known to be an enormous supporter of the separation of church and state. William Bryan was a affiliate of the Democratic Party and he also gave communal speeches out of the cabooses of trains. This method of communication was very unusual in that time. He received both disapproval and praise for this. This cartoon is intended to support both republican and Gold Democrats, both of whom were competitors of Bryan.
The argument that the cartoon is trying to depict is that Bryan is insulting the cross by being in contradiction of the congregation of church and state. His most notable speech was the “Cross of Gold” speech in which Bryan brings to consideration the issue of silver and gold conveyed by the new abundance of silver and gold ore being excavated and the choice of whether or not to make a fluctuating money or a currency built on the gold standard. Bryan’s hefty dependence on religious imagery is what made the speech so memorable. Many viewed this as a violation because a lot of people really believed that politics was basically the exchange of cheats and lies, both being negative associations.
William J. Bryant was also a key figure in another important piece of history, The Scopes Trial. Bryan was a key expert on the religion side of the trial. As Bryan was on the stand he was asked many questions, such as "When exactly was the