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Britain & the American Revolution: The Congress or The Necessary Politicians

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    • British cartoon on the American Revolution

      The Congress or Necessary Politicians

The second of three cartoons on Britain and the American Revolution

This cartoon has a very different tone from the previous one. It shows two men sitting in a toilet or privy, with one of the men (on the left) apparently using pieces of the Resolutions of the Congress as toilet paper! The sympathies of the cartoonist appear to be with him rather than the other character on the right, shown rather foolishly reading a pamphlet on Taxation and Tyranny. He is undoubtedly meant to be the leading Whig, Edmund Burke, (as identified by his glasses), who was then a supporter of the American cause. The Tory nature of the cartoon appears to be further supported by the prints hanging on the wall of the toilet, one of which represents William Pitt the Elder, another prominent American supporter, shown tarred and feathered. On the far left the corner of another print can just be seen, and appears to show John Wilkes, Mayor of London - and another notorious radical of course. The whole cartoon perhaps illustrates just how divisive the American revolution was in terms of ideological beliefs - on both sides of the Atlantic.

(author's photo)

Date created: 
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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