The Tariff Question


 “Highway Politics”
  Cartoonist:  Thomas Nast
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   November 1, 1884, p. 726

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Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
In this cartoon, artist Thomas Nast contrasts the positions of three presidential candidates on the tariff issue. Republican nominee James Blaine and Greenback-Labor nominee Benjamin Butler, both of whom vigorously advocated the protective tariff, are shown mugging a workingman for his vote. Corrupt businessman and Blaine supporter, Jay Gould, lurks behind the corner, holding a rolled up "Fort Boodle Co." poster. Excerpted at the top of the cartoon is the tariff plank from the 1884 Democratic platform, endorsed by the party's nominee, Grover Cleveland. It stresses lower taxes to encourage economic growth, and lower tariff rates which will still be high enough to offset anticipated increases in wages. To the cartoonist, that position is sensible and fair.












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