The Civil War On American Society Essay

1033 Words Dec 20th, 2015 null Page
The mid-eighteenth century was a confusing and revolutionary time period for the United States.1 After the Civil War the U.S. underwent a major paradigm shift in the racial hierarchy of the American people, with the emancipation and naturalization of former slaves, through the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendment, arrival of new immigrants, and changing demographic. President Ulysses S. Grant called for a celebration of Thanksgiving to give thanks for the reunification of the Union. Using symbols and labeling, Nast depicts a picturesque, utopian American society united by their common humanity, despite their perceived differences.2 Keller employs negative racial stereotypes and racialized portrayals of non Protestant-Anglo communities to emphasize the necessity of racial hierarchy in American society through symbolism and exaggeration.3 Utilizing cartoons with their visual techniques to spread their message, Thomas Nast and G.F. Keller showed the people’s evolving opinions, from a hopeful, optimistic belief in political equality to an antagonist attack on both the racial and ethnic minorities who were perceived as a threat to white Protestants’ structured advantage in American society.
With the the ratification of the 15th Amendment still being debated, black enfranchisement still had an unsure outlook in the future. Showing his political support and hoping to use his influence in the media, Thomas Nast’s political cartoon “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner” demonstrates a…

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