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"The Times Are Ripening for a Lasting Peace."

Topic:
Electoral College Controversy: Final Results
Source:
Harper's Weekly
Cartoonist:
Thomas Nast
Date:
March 31, 1877, pp. 248-249
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >
In this cartoon, grand in scale yet subdued in tone, a cherub, representing new beginnings, ties an olive branch of peace around his sheathed sword. His foot rests on the shield of the United States, while behind him perch two doves of peace, perhaps symbolizing reconciliation between the Democratic and Republican parties or the North and South. On the ground in front of them lie the scales of justice, which were used to judge the disputed election returns. Propped up is Caduceus, a rod carried by Roman officers when they negotiated peace terms. In mythology, it became the staff of Mercury (Hermes), messenger to the gods. On the left, a snake slithers under the rocks (foreground), as buzzards follow the retreating angel of death and the dogs of war. In the background, the haze dissipates to reveal the dome of the Capitol building, signifying the permanence of the republic.
Click for image enlargement and complete HarpWeek explanation >

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