Our world today is filled with cartoons and satires of just about everything, and the blooming of social media has only seemed to grow the number of caricatures. Whether it be a joke about coffee, politics, or haggard mothers, everywhere you turn someone’s using a picture and a few words to make a sarcastic comment.
Did you know that caricatures and political cartoons began long before the current age of Facebook and Pinterest? Yes indeed, the history of caricatures extends well past 300 years. But today I want to talk about one of America's most famous cartoonists, Thomas Nast. Though born in Germany, he spent the majority of his life in the United States, where he raised his family, and within just a few years of beginning work as an illustrator, he became acquainted with Harper's Weekly, a union that would last for twenty-five years.
During the course of his career, Nast illustrated everything from the Civil War . . .
To Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall . . .
To federal politics . . .
To Santa Claus.
So what do you think of these caricatures and cartoons? Do you enjoy the prevalence of caricatures, cartoons and memes today? How much influence do you think someone like Thomas Nast had over popular opinion?