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Understanding and Analyzing Political Cartoons

This Prezi focuses on President Andrew Jackson's battle with the U.S. Bank to help students learn the skill of analyzing political cartoons and the understand the general construction of such cartoons: (1) content, (2) methods and (3) purpose.
by

Jerry Thomas

on 17 July 2014

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Transcript of Understanding and Analyzing Political Cartoons

Jackson Hates the 2nd US BANK
Contoonists use methods to convey ideas!
So why does Jackson hate the US Bank?
The Bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me. But i will kill it!
--
Andrew Jackson, 1832
1 - Cartoonists Need a Story
2 - The Story Behind the Story!
4 - Methods
Throughout his presidency, Jackson disliked the Bank of the United States. For years is saw it as being a business of wealthy, unelected, private bankers over which the ordinary citizen had no control. The U.S. Bank held the federal government's deposits and controlled the nation's money supply. As a self-made man, Jackson disliked the U.S. Bank's privileged president,
Nicholas Biddle.
In 1832, Jackson vetoed the Bank's
charter
and in 1836 He ordered the withdraw of all federal deposits from the U.S. Bank.
$.03
Monday, March 1, 1832
Chp. 11.3, pp. 348-352
What's in a political cartoon?
3 - Political Cartoons Have 3 Parts
Cartoonists draw with a purpose in mind
5 - Purpose
All political cartoons might seem very different and that no two are alike. However, no matter what you see, every political cartoon shares three common features. Of course, the
CONTENT
of these political cartoons is just that--politics; they are generally all about the current political topics of the day. Secondly, political cartoonists used an number of
METHODS
to create their works of art and capture the public's eye. Lastly, are not just drawing because that's what they do. There is a
PURPOSE
for their illustrations. Political cartoonists are usually idealists who wish to reprimand us for our shortcomings.
Cartoonists used a variety of methods to communicate complex messages in simple terms to their reading audience:
Captions
: brief words or phrases used for explanation.
Caricature
: an exaggerated comic image of a person.
Symbols
: anything that represents something else to reduce the use of words.
Metaphor
: a figure of speech that uses a word/phrase for one thing that refers to another thing to suggest they are similar.
Irony
: the expression of a contradition of one's meaning by using language typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
Sarcasm
: bitter words used to mean they opposite of what you want to say in order to insult or mock someone.
Stereotyping
: used to categorize a person or group of people using a single trait or characteristic.
Analyzing Political Cartoons:
Jackson & the U.S. Bank War!

3 - CONTENT
The
CONTENT
of political cartoons is usually an important, current social or political topic of interest and concern to the public: rights, laws, freedoms, education, liberties, corruption, common good, spending, wars, welfare, or power. We call these kinds of issues
UNVERSAL

THEMES.
These are subjects that involve the attention of people worldwide.
What is the story behind this political cartoon?
6 - PRACTICE YOUR SKILLBUILDING
____ "Clay,"Might stop a hole, to keep the wind away!"
Jackson's actions with regards to the Second Bank of the United States resulted in his censure by Congress for abuse of power. This cartoon depicts Henry Clay sewing Jackson's mouth shut.

The big question is, why? Why do political cartoonists take the time to draw these images and what purpose does it serve. In general, political cartoonists are idealists. This is to say that political cartoonists see the world as it is and not just ask why, but also why not. They see things and wish to make our world a better place to live. These cartoonists show us the difference between
appearance
and
reality
, as well as the difference between the way things
are
and the way things
could/should
be. They make us look at ourselves. Their sometimes funny, sometimes serious humor often exposes and reprimands us for our human errors. Yet, when all is said and done the political cartoonists main purpose is to get everyone to
think
about a topic of of concern, and urge us to act to find solutions to our problems.
What universal themes might be associated with this cartoon?
Which methods has the artist utilized to get the message across?
What purpose(s) might the cartoonist have for creating this drawing?
What is the cartoonist's point of view?
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