Political Cartoon

Please review and elaborate on the topic

In this political cartoon, it illustrates a teacher in star spangled clothing attempting to “educate” dark-skinned children who represent different countries or territories that America wants to expand towards. In the back of the classroom you see mainly white children who represent the states, only one not white is Alaska. In the background you see a Native American reading a book upside down and a black person cleaning the window. This illustration perfectly displays the mindset of a lot of American’s during the early 1900s. America viewed itself to be the greatest country in the modern age and viewed smaller, less developed countries as lesser, which were inhabited by uneducated savages. America wanted to be seen as an imperial power as many empires before it. Towards the end of the 1800s, America began positioning its territory in places all over the world in an attempt to expand. “In the Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East, and most explicitly in the Spanish-American War and under the foreign policy of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, the United States expanded on a long history of exploration, trade, and cultural exchange to practice something that looked remarkably like empire.” (Adams, 2018).

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After World War I ended, countries across the world felt the repercussions of their involvement, America especially. “Postwar disillusionment shattered Americans’ hopes for the progress of the modern world.” (Chavez, 2018). America’s involvement in the First World War led them towards wanting to feel isolated from the rest of the world, something that had not been felt in ages. This in turn made Americans to no longer want to expand its territory as the people saw it as a threat to the American way of life.


1) Ellen Adams et al., “American Empire,” Ellen Adams and Amy Kohout, eds., in The American Yawp, eds. Joseph Locke and Ben Wright (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018).

2) Tizoc Chavez et al., “World War I and Its Aftermath,” Paula Fortier, ed., in The American Yawp, eds. Joseph Locke and Ben Wright (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018).

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