The Tariff and Labor Questions


 “There Is Going to Be a ‘Knock-Out’”
  Cartoonist:  Bernhard Gillam
  Source:  Judge
  Date:   August 20, 1892, p. 117

Click to see a large version of this cartoon...

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Puck (1876) and Judge (1881) were two popular comic weeklies that competed fiercely in the 1880s and 1890s by showcasing talented political cartoonists and representing opposite points of view. The Democratic Puck had initially been sympathetic to the working class, but became less so as labor unions gained strength over the years. Judge followed the Republican strategy of trying to woe the labor vote by supporting protective tariffs.

Here, Judge artist Bernhard Gillam takes the fighting theme of this cartoon from Puck’s recent criticism of American workers (posted on the wall). A muscular workingman stands tall and confident as the diminutive Democratic national ticket of vice-presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson (left) and presidential nominee Grover Cleveland (right) prepare to assault him. They wear “Free Trade” and “Pauper Wages” boxing gloves, but are no match for the laborer who (implicitly) realizes that trade protectionism provides the economic prosperity apparent in the scene behind him.













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