The Boxer Rebellion Analogy


 “Bryan, the American ‘Boxer’”
  Cartoonist:  Grant Hamilton
  Source:  Judge
  Date:  June 30, 1900

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

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
Like the previous week’s issue of Harper’s Weekly, the June 30 cover of Judge features William Jennings Bryan as an angry, rebellious Chinese Boxer. The Boxer Rebellion was then at its height in China. An international military force had been sent to Peking (Beijing), the Chinese capital, to crush the rebellion and restore order. In late June, President William McKinley transferred 2500 American troops from the Philippines to China, where they became part of the 20,000 international troops that ended the rebellion in August 1900.

Here, Bryan is identified as a Free-Silver Boxer wielding a fearsome knife of “Political Fanaticism” and an “Anti-Progress” spear by which he has killed the “Honest Old” Democratic Donkey. The image continues a theme from the 1896 presidential contest in which Bryan was portrayed as a pawn of political radicals; however, in this 1900 cartoon, he is placed in charge of the radicals. In the background stands a laboring man who will fight Bryan with his vote in order to protect the full dinner pail and industrial prosperity. “Pekin” was the standard English spelling of the Chinese capital, which was under attack by the Boxers. The American “capital” is depicted as industry and economic prosperity. The ice cube attached to the end of Bryan’s queue refers to the Tammany Ice scandal.













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