Friday, August 20, 2010

R.C. Bowman's 1900 Cartoons: China

Part 3 of my continuing excerpts from The Minneapolis Tribune Cartoon Book for 1901: Being a Collection of Over One Hundred Cartoons by R.C. Bowman:

The Powers: "This horrible work was done in your shop, wasn't it?"
China: "Yes, but I didn't do it, therefore I'm not to blame."

The Boxer Rebellion had been underway for a couple years when Minneapolis Tribune cartoonist R.C. Bowman drew these cartoons. The Boxers (I Ho Ch'uan, Yìhétuán or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists") and Muslim "Kansu Braves" targeted foreign diplomats, capitalists and missionaries with savage intensity, because European imperial powers (England, France, Germany, Russia, Italy and Austria-Hungary) had begun carving China up into their own spheres of influence -- much as they had done with the rest of Africa and southern Asia. The dowager empress, Cizi (Tz'u Hsi) overthrew the western-backed Guangxu Emperor and supported the Boxer rebels' goal of evicting the foreign powers from China.

Li Hung Chang claims to have the simon pure article (and incidentally, it's for sale).

In June 1900, the Boxers attacked foreign compounds in the cities of Tianjin and Beijing; the German envoy was killed (and skinned, and his heart eaten by the Muslim general) as the Europeans retreated into a fortified area near Beijing's Forbidden City. The Boxers set fire to the area, destroying much of the Hanlin Yuan, described as "the oldest and richest library in the world."

The Boxer: "Why don't you shoot?"

In July, 222 Chinese Eastern Orthodox Christians, 182 Protestant missionaries and 500 Chinese Protestants, including women and children were killed in the Taiyuan Massacre.
Li Hung Chang: "Uncle, let me take your flag to wipe out the blots."
Uncle Sam: "No!!!!"

Next: more cartoons about China's Boxer Rebellion.

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