Morehead State University

Poster Title

Comparison of German and American Political Cartoons Focusing on China

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

Political cartoons are powerful messages found in newspapers and magazines. These iconic images have long histories in the United States and in Europe. People believe that political cartoons are effective means of swaying public opinion. In reference to Thomas Nast's political cartoons about Tammy Hall in the 1870's, "Boss" Tweed demanded, "Stop them damned pictures!" in response to the fact that his supporters were largely illiterates who could not read, but could understand the cartoons. Outright public indignation occurs when an idea or individual one agrees with is lampooned in a political cartoon on the editorial page. Of late there has been no shortage of political images focusing attention on China in American and German presses. This study examined how German and American political cartoons during the past three years portrayed China. The study also compared the issues in each nation that warrant a political statement. As China's economic power threatens to replace Germany as the third largest economy in the world and progresses toward superpower status as a potential global rival to the United States, it is important that we understand how the world's most populous nation is being portrayed and how the images of China in these two western democracies is being crafted through the medium of political cartoons.

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Comparison of German and American Political Cartoons Focusing on China

Political cartoons are powerful messages found in newspapers and magazines. These iconic images have long histories in the United States and in Europe. People believe that political cartoons are effective means of swaying public opinion. In reference to Thomas Nast's political cartoons about Tammy Hall in the 1870's, "Boss" Tweed demanded, "Stop them damned pictures!" in response to the fact that his supporters were largely illiterates who could not read, but could understand the cartoons. Outright public indignation occurs when an idea or individual one agrees with is lampooned in a political cartoon on the editorial page. Of late there has been no shortage of political images focusing attention on China in American and German presses. This study examined how German and American political cartoons during the past three years portrayed China. The study also compared the issues in each nation that warrant a political statement. As China's economic power threatens to replace Germany as the third largest economy in the world and progresses toward superpower status as a potential global rival to the United States, it is important that we understand how the world's most populous nation is being portrayed and how the images of China in these two western democracies is being crafted through the medium of political cartoons.