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Analyzing Political Cartoons. Analyzing Political Cartoons. What Are Political Cartoons?. Political cartoons are an art form that serves as a window into history by showing us what people were thinking and talking about at a given time and place.

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Analyzing Political Cartoons

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Analyzing

Political Cartoons


Analyzing Political Cartoons


What Are Political Cartoons?

  • Political cartoons are an art form that serves as a window into history by showing us what people were thinking and talking about at a given time and place.

    Today’s editorial cartoons will provide the same record of our own time.


Uses of Political Cartoons

  • Presents a particular viewpoint on political, economic, or social issues

  • Make use of humor, symbolism, historical events, and stereotypes to draw attention to an idea, event, or person

  • Stimulates debate on an issue


How To Read Them?


How To Read Them?

  • Artist’s viewpoint:


How To Read Them?

  • Artist’s viewpoint:

    What subject or issue is the artist

    commenting on?


How To Read Them?

  • Artist’s viewpoint:

    What subject or issue is the artist

    commenting on?

  • Captions


How To Read Them?

  • Artist’s viewpoint:

    What subject or issue is the artist

    commenting on?

  • Captions

    What language do the artist use?


How To Read Them?

  • Artist’s viewpoint:

    What subject or issue is the artist

    commenting on?

  • Captions

    What language do the artist use?

  • Symbols, Humor, and Satire


How To Read Them?

  • Artist’s viewpoint:

    What subject or issue is the artist

    commenting on?

  • Captions

    What language do the artist use?

  • Symbols, Humor, and Satire

    What do you see in the cartoon? What feelings are suggested by the image?


How To Read Them?

  • Artist’s viewpoint:

    What subject or issue is the artist

    commenting on?

  • Captions

    What language do the artist use?

  • Symbols, Humor, and Satire

    What do you see in the cartoon? What feelings are suggested by the image?

  • Historical Images


How To Read Them?

  • Artist’s viewpoint:

    What subject or issue is the artist

    commenting on?

  • Captions

    What language do the artist use?

  • Symbols, Humor, and Satire

    What do you see in the cartoon? What feelings are suggested by the image?

  • Historical Images

    Recognizing the historical or literary images is necessary to understand the meaning of the cartoon


America’s First Political Cartoon?


America’s First Political Cartoon?

  • It's important to note that America's earliest cartoons were political in nature. The first cartoon appeared in Ben Franklin’s newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette, on May 9, 1754.


  • The woodcut drawing entitled “Join or Die” pictures a divided snake in eight pieces representing as many colonial governments. The drawing was based on the popular superstition that a snake that had been cut in two would come to life if the pieces were joined before sunset. The drawing resonated among the public and was reproduced in other newspapers.


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