The Embargo of 1807 was an attempt to keep US merchant ships out of harm’s way. Outlawing international trade, however, had a devastating effect on the economy, especially in New England. The Jefferson administration’s heavy-handed policing of merchants led some to claim that the President was on the road to becoming a tyrant.
The Devil: Pull away pull away my son don’t fear! I’ll give you all my assistance.
Jefferson: I fear it is stronger rooted than I expected but with the assistance of my old friend and a little more brandy I will bring it down.
Questions to consider:
- How does this cartoon characterize Jefferson?
- What is Jefferson trying to “bring down”?
- Based on what you know of Jefferson’s political beliefs and actions, what specific actions or opinions might have inspired this cartoon?
An increase in crime committed by teenagers during the late 1940s and into the 1950s spawned a number of educational resources aimed at young people (and their parents).
Excerpts from a 1955 Senate report on Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency.
Throughout the Cold War, Harding College (now University) produced a number of films which promoted “American” values in the face of perceived pressure from “un-American” ideologies. This short animated film, “Make Mine Freedom” is an early example of these films. As you watch it, think about the goals the filmmakers had in creating this cartoon and who the cartoon’s audience might have been.
Source: The Prelinger Collection (direct link to video)
Questions to consider:
- The film makes reference to “isms”–given the year of production, to what “isms” might the filmmakers have been referring?
- What do the filmmakers promote as an alternative to ‘isms”?
- What are the specific dangers of these “isms”?
- What makes the American way better than the foreign “isms,” according to the filmmakers?
During the Second World War, the Roosevelt administration issued executive orders to inter Japanese-Americans (many of them US citizens) in prison camps to lessen the perceived risk of Japanese sabotage. These two films are examples of the ways in which the US government attempted to justify these actions.
Choose three of the images located at the Imaging the French Revolution site. Answer the applicable questions below (note: not every question is relevant to every picture!)
- How do the images you’ve chosen characterize the people of France?
- How do the images you’ve chosen characterize the political rulers of France?
- How do the images you’ve chosen characterize the religious rulers of France?
- Describe some of the different ways the images present women.
During the 1950s, some American thinkers expressed concern that deviation from accepted behavior, would contribute to a weakening of American society. This educational film from 1958 addresses some of the perceived consequences of premarital sex. While premarital sex was certainly not invented in the 1950s, concerns about “proper” behavior were enhanced by the tensions of the Cold War.