Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Empire of the United States of America

After the Spanish-American War The Philippines was in the hands of the United States.  This was seen by some as a golden opportunity for international commerce with China, with Uncle Sam portrayed as carrying all that was great about Western Civilization and industry to the welcoming arms of destitute, backwards China.  That didn't quite end up working out the way this idealistic cartoon portrayed it... not least because of the 40+ year rocky US occupation of The Philippines and the fact that the view of China in this cartoon was rather presumptuous at best and rather badly racist.

Of course not everybody was so excited about the imperial ambitions of the United States: This editorial cartoon ran in a Catalan newspaper in Spain prior to the Spanish-American War. I can't figure out a translation for "fatlera" in the title, but the text underneath translates to "Keep the island so it won't get lost." But then again Spain complaining about anybody else's imperial ambitions is very much the pot calling the kettle black.

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