Civil War, "Bloody Shirt," and Black Americans


 “Master and Slave”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   October 30, 1880, p. 701

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This Thomas Nast cartoon emphatically communicates the message that the dominate base of the Democratic party is composed of former Confederates and their sympathizers. The Southern faction is personified as a long-haired, grimacing Confederate soldier who is the slave-master of presidential nominee General Winfield Hancock and the Democratic party. Hancock is a slave, chained to a "Solid South" post and threatened by the lash (cat-o-nine-tails) of his Southern Democratic master. Quotes from Congressman Joseph C. S. Blackburn of Kentucky and former Confederate secretary of state Robert Toombs of Georgia, along with the inscription on the post, compare Southern solidarity against the Union in 1860 and for Hancock's election in 1880.

The sign on the ballot box in the lower-right predicts that Southern Democrats will commit vote fraud in order to achieve their political goal of controlling the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. The reference in the caption to the "Rag Baby" is a double-entendre alluding to both Hancock's manipulation by Southern Democrats and the latter's advocacy of "soft-money" inflationary policies. Hancock, in fact, did win the "Solid South" in November, but lost the election to Republican James Garfield. The results showed that the Republicans could win the White House without the South, leaving the majority of black Americans, who lived in that region, to deal with the racist policies of the Democratic party.













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