Guided Primary Source Analysis: Strong-Weak Government

Wales, James Albert. "The "Strong" government 1869-1877--The "weak" government 1877-1881." 1880.
Wales, James Albert. “The “Strong” government 1869-1877–The “weak” government 1877-1881.” 1880.

Zoom into a more detailed image of this cartoon. Using only the details from the cartoon, what main point do you think the cartoonist was trying to make. For help reading cartoons, review It’s No Laughing Matter. Then review the cartoon’s source record and this definition of carpetbagger. What insights into this cartoon does this new information provide you with? What questions do you still have?

Compare and contrast this cartoon with this sheet music from 1868. Explain how you think each creator would respond to the other’s source.

Find a contemporary political cartoon that, on the surface, represents two sides of an issue. Describe the point the cartoonist was trying to make and how the different perspectives were represented. Alternatively, create your own political cartoon that represents two sides of an issue. Then answer why it is important to consider different perspectives when investigating issues.

What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!