Post /his/torical political cartoons.
All nations and political ideologies welcome. Must be prior to 1990.
Did you know Dr. Seuss was a political cartoonist during WW2?
William Hogarth, Gin Lane
Known as Geneva spirits, a misspelling of jenever (nothing to do with the city, a traditional juniper based Dutch and Belgian liquor) and informally known as mother's ruin, there was a gin craze in the first half of 18th Century Britain.
It came to popularity after the ascension of the Dutch William of Orange to the English throne, and conflict with France, as an alternative to French brandy. Legislation was passed to discourage brandy imports and encourage domestic gin production, and the monopoly of the London Guild of Distillers was broken in 1690, increasing the number of producers. It started as a favourite of the upper classes and Queen Anne, but was readily taken up by the lower classes as food prices dropped and disposable income rose.
Gin was thought to be the cause of a huge increase in crime, causing moral panic.
In 1730, around 10 million gallons of gin were being distilled in the capital each year and sold from 7,000 dram shops. It’s estimated that the average Londoner drank a staggering 14 gallons of the stuff a year. Parliament would pass five acts to try and control its consumption.
If you can read the blackboard in the back, the point becomes obvious: America has to take care of its colonies and make them civilized a la "white man's burden". The artist compares it with better colonies (California, Texas, New Mexico), but also with the Native American off to the side who can't read. I can't tell what (I imagine) the Chinese kid at the doorstep is, but I think the black kid washing windows is also supposed to be a step up from servitude.
That's Teddy Roosevelt imitating the Cheshire Cat. I don't know the date of this cartoon, but if I had to guess on its meaning, it has to do with Roosevelt being Roosevelt and attacking people from the bully pulpit and forcing them to do as he pleases.
And here is Hogarth's alternative. Beer street. Beer was considered the wholesome drink of the stout, healthy English yeoman. You can see a pawnbroker in the background shutting up shop; He's going out of business.
The history of alcohol is a fascinating topic in itself. For most of history, what you drank was determined by your station in life. It's a bit like moral panic about crack in the 80s when all the Yuppies were on coke, or panic about black people smoking marijuana when the rich smoked cigars.
That's one interpretation, but you're risking giving a modern reason to a historical cultural norm. People just liked drinking, and would drink throughout the day for most of post roman British history. Wine and ale/beer until the plague, and when the vineyards were neglected following the plague, richer Brits imported wine.