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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Prohibition Thru Political Cartoons

One thing that I always enjoyed during my history classes in school was taking a look at political cartoons of the period to see what people were really thinking about the subject at that particular time. I think that political cartoons can really be a window into the world - and some are absolutely hilarious! I thought it would be cool to look at some of the political cartoons about Prohibition - from both sides (those for Temperance and Prohibition and those pushing for the repeal of the law.
In this cartoon (from an Ohio Prohibition Campaign) exhibits the evils of booze: poverty, crime, robbing women and children, waste. They shows the beliefs of those who believe in the necessity of prohibition.

This cartoon was a call to voters to vote for Prohibition. The camel is the saloon who has been able to withstand some of the laws thrown its way, but it is starting to get pushed down by all of the votes. This is showing that your one vote could break the camel - SO GO VOTE!

This cartoon shows how both sides view the outcomes of Prohibition. On the left you have Mr. Wet who is showing that Prohibition has failed. It has increased crime, bootlegging, etc. On the right Mr. Dry is showing Prohibition is a success. It has increased homeowning and prosperity. Two sides of the same coin.

And I couldn't resist throwing this one it - because it is by none other than Dr. Seuss!!! Apparently he drew many political cartoons (you can find more here). This cartoon shows Nutty Aunt Carrie riding Prohibition - this is a shot against the women who tended to make up the Temperance Unions and were the driving force against alcohol.

I think that the best political cartoons are those of the past - the ones today are just not as good. What do you think about these cartoons and political cartoons in general?

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Ok, the little marching booze bottles are really, really funny! I don't think the cartoonist intended for them to be quite so funny...agreed that today's cartoons are not as clever or well-done as those of the past. Many today just seem mean-spirited (though the crazy aunt is a touch mean, too...but funny--I love the axe!)

  2. I never knew Dr Suess did political cartoons! How fun!
    The old political cartoons are the best, I love finding them. Although, I usually have to do some research to even get them. But that makes it even better!

  3. Rowenna - I thought they were pretty funny too! I do think that the Seuss cartoon is a little mean, but I love it too.

    Allison - Sometimes the fun is in the challenge!

  4. Oh, wow, this is crazy fun. Carrie Nation was notorious for breakup bars with her hatchet -- it's sort of surreal to realize that Carrie Nation and Dr Seuss inhabited the same world!!

  5. er, breaking up bars, not breakup bars...

  6. Audra - it is crazy to think of them being in the same world at the same time. I don't really think of Dr. Seuss as a real person - haha - kinda just like a character.

  7. I agree - he seems like one of his own creations, really!


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