Political Cartoon Analysis

Cross Roads

Cross Roads

Description: Acadia (Nova Scotia) is on a cross road, and she is choosing between Canada and the United States. On Canada’s side you see two men (probably part of Assembly, or the Council),  and a cornucopia which symbolizes plentifulness, it has an Intercolonial Bill inside. The US’s side has a danger sign on the ground, and it shows that they actually lots of debt, but they are plentiful in money.

Meaning: The meaning of this cartoon is that, Acadia is being fought over by the United States and Canada. They both knew if Acadia were to join in on them, the inclusion would lessen the taxes for everyone. The reason for the United States wanting Acadia was because they had many taxes to pay ($460,000,000 worth). Canada was luring Acadia through lighter taxes but Canada was under British Supremacy.

Positive or Negative?: I believe this is negative because it shows the bad parts of both of the sides, and how Acadia is a helpless little girl. The two men on Canada’s side look creepy and nothing but bad intentions.

Uncle Sam Kicked Out

Uncle Sam Kicked Out

Description: It depicts a buff man by the name of Young Canada, kicking an old man out of their house. This old man is Uncle Sam (United States). In the back there is a rather chubby man, who is named John Bull. John Bull is a national personification of England.

Meaning: The meaning is that Canada is done with the US, it shows how the anti annexation sentiment Canada always had, except they emphasized it. Again Uncle Sam is drawn as an old, creepy, man that no one would really want around.

Positive or Negative?: Whether it is positive or negative depends on who’s looking at it. If you were a Canadian who was anti annexation, this would be positive because this will raise their beliefs and raise their hopes for complete anti annexation. On the other hand, the US citizens who were pro annexation would think this is insulting for multiple reasons. One being they drew Uncle Sam as weak and old. Secondly, this drawing shows how Canada is opposing the idea, in a very forced way. But the artist of the cartoon is obviously on the anti-annexation side.

The Situation

The Situation

Description: There is a little girl standing in the cold winter between two hotels. One is called Canada Hotel, and the other US Hotel. Canada Hotel looks warm, cozy, and safe. The women, assuming it is a figure of Canada, looks friendly, and well dressed. The US Hotel on the other hand looks worn down, dirty, and very sketchy. Uncle Sam is seen whittling a stick and generally looking unpleasant.

Meaning: This cartoon is trying to show how Canada is so much better than US, the old country. Canada is new and welcoming. It shows that Canada cares about your troubles and will gladly help you, but the US could care less, and would rather just have your money and not care to help or take care of you.

Positive or Negative?: The artist shows positively of Canada, and how they are a friendly new country, that welcomes anyone. I feel like these cartoons depicting Canada as friendly and kind, were the origin of the Canadian stereotype. The US is shown in a negative way, by being drawn as unfriendly.

Too Old to be Caught with Chaff

Too Old To Be Caught With Chaff

Description: It shows Canada behind a hill peeking his head out, and two men throwing bird feed into a cage that says “ANNEXATION”. The bags of bird feed have the words “INDEPENDENCE” written on them.  You can tell the two men are America by the top hat with the US flag inside, and you can tell the man behind the hill is Canada by the beaver, the national animal.

Meaning: America is trying to get Canada to agree to annexation, by using independence as their lure and once they entrap Canada, they won’t be able to get out that easily.

Positive or Negative?: This cartoon is negative because it shows how easily Canada will get trapped inside US’s clutches. It also shows how much the US want Canada to agree to annexation, they are willing to forcibly take Canada whether Canada liked it or not.

Cut Her Adrift How Dare You

cut adrift

Description: There are two boats, one that is of the British Empire, and the other is Canada. A man with an ax is trying to cut a stick that is holding together the two boats. Mother Britannia is on the British ship. At the bottom right, there is a rock that reads ‘annexation’ on it, and on the top right, there is a cliff that reads “Point Independence”.

Meaning: This shows us Britain is trying to navigate Canada between independence and annexation, but some of the British Empire would like to cut it off (the man trying to break the connection with an ax), but Mother Britannia (AKA England) would rather not. The Canadians on the boat look confused so that may mean that they are unsure about what is happening around them.

Positive or Negative?: This artist is looking at the problem negatively because if Britain were to let go of Canada, the US would take Canada if Canada were ever to fall into ‘troubled waters’ (pun very much intended). He also depicts the Canadians as very confused, which he probably meant to draw to show how the government is very unsure of what to do in this situation.

Mother Britannia And Uncle Sam

mother britannia

Description: Uncle Sam and Mother Britannia are on either side of a table while a baby holding a bayonet is on top of that table.The baby’s clothes have the words “Canada” written across it. In the captions, Mother Britannia is saying “See! Why, the dear child can stand alone!”. Uncle Sam replies by saying “Of course he can! Let go of him Granny; if he falls I’ll catch him!”

Meaning: Canada is slowly becoming more and more independent, and while England believes Canada is ready enough to be independent, the US do not think like that, and are sure that Canada will fall, in which they would ‘catch’ Canada, and probably proceed with annexation. Uncle Sam, once again drawn as a creepy old man, is trying to persuade England to hurry up and let go of Canada so that the plan of annexation can go through quicker. The baby is on top of a table, which isn’t safe. That probably means that Canada is already unsafe and likely to fall.

Positive or Negative?: This is negative because the author was probably drawing this to show how if England were to make Canada independent, the US would take over Canada. The author also shows how unprepared Canada is of becoming independent because the child is on a table which is highly unsafe.

Uncle Sam and his Sons

uncle sam

Description: Uncle Sam in on a stool with knife in hand, watching the US and Canada (his ‘sons’), doing work. US’s side are fooling around and being rowdy in general. One man is throwing rocks, another is drinking, two are fighting with clubs of some sort. The Canadian side is doing hard farm work. A barn is built, a man is chopping timber while another is creating fertile land to grow crops.

Meaning: America is shown to be lazy and arrogant, while Canadians are hardworking and ready for independence. Canada is depicted as better because of the flourished forests in the background and  the livestock seem to be healthy. The knife that Uncle Sam is holding may represent the thought of America wanting to end it’s own life.

Positive or Negative?: This shows a positive look at Canada, advertising how much of a nice country it is. We have plenty of resources and people. The artist is definitely on Canada’s side, and they drew the US as lazy, inhumane people to show how unprofessional they are. Even Uncle Sam is disappointed in the US’s behaviour.

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