Thomas Nast And Political Cartoons

1088 Words5 Pages
Thomas Nast, 1840-1902, was a political cartoonist who is known by some historians as “the father of modern political American political cartooning” (Simpson, ANBO). This is due in part because Nast was the individual who created the donkey symbol to represent the Democratic Party and elephant symbol to represent the Republican Party. Another reason why he earned this title and therefore should be studied is that he changed the way cartoonists delivered their context. Before the Civil War cartoonist relied on dialogue rather than imagery to get the message across, However; Nast used pictures to convey the message of his cartoons (Simpson, ANBO). Since his cartoons did not need words to convey the message he was able to reach the illiterate community more effectively than other cartoonists of his time. Those viewing his cartoons not only would have been educated about the social and political events unfolding around them, but also would have picked up on Nast’s political opinions related to these events. Nast’s cartoons were one of the means in which the illiterate community gained information they would use to influence the political sphere. A large portion of the illiterate community were male ex-slaves who gained rights including the right to vote through the Reconstruction Amendments which would prove the difference in the 1868 presidential elections. One of the cartoons that Nast published that greatly influenced the illiterate ex-slave community following the Civil
Open Document