Saturday, August 28, 2010

R.C. Bowman Cartoons from 1900: The Philippines

Here's Part VI of a series, resurrecting cartoons from The Minneapolis Tribune Cartoon Book for 1901: Being a Collection of Over One Hundred Cartoons by R.C. Bowman.

Interrupting the Class

The United States took over the Philippines from Spain as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898; a year later, Filipinos began fighting for independence. The fighting continued until President Aguinaldo surrendered in 1902. R.C. Bowman drew a connection here between the Philippine Revolution and the Boxer Rebellion in China.

The Filipino: "That's worse than a government without the consent of the governed."

The above cartoon references the post-Reconstruction moves to forcibly disenfranchise Black citizens; the issue in 1900 particularly concerned North Carolina. Newt Gingrich's talking points memo instructing all Republicans to use "Democrat" even as an adjective wouldn't come out until 90+ years later, so R.C. Bowman refers to the state Democratic Party with the label "North Carolina Democracy."

Keeping it alive

This is the one cartoon of Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo in this book (although it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the few photos I've seen of him). The rebellion's feet are soaking in the sentiment, common in the U.S. Democratic Party, that the U.S. had no business being an imperial power. It was less a peacenik stand than one favoring a limited federal government, and a disinclination to accept non-whites (non-Protestants as well) in any way that might make them citizens of the United States. The Tea Party would have felt right at home in the Democratic Party in those days.

The Philippines: "What yer got?"
Cuba: "Pie."
Philippines: "Where'd yer get it?"
Cuba "Mah Uncle Sam gin it to me; en maybe ef you was halfway decent, he' git you some."

Yes, there's a racist condescension in this cartoon, but what else would you expect?

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I need to find out when R. C. Bowman died and can't find it anywhere!
    You seem to know a lot about his work, would you be able to help?

    Please email me on: