Reaction to Hoganson

In the portion of Kristin Hoganson’s book Fighting for American Manhood: How gender politics provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars, chapter two entitled “Cuba and the Restoration of American Chivalry” can be used to prove why some of the propaganda and political cartoons were so popular and meaningful during the Spanish-Cuban War.

In the slideshow the cartoon from Puck magazine entitled “Cuban Puck Mag.PNGMelodrama” you have a tall confident man standing in the middle defending this woman dressed in white. The man is defending this woman from this scary hunched backed villain all dressed in black. This man is depicted as the Spaniard, while the woman dressed in white is identified as being Cuban. The man standing in the middle of the cartoon is wearing red, white, and blue pants indicating that he is an American. This American man is defending the Cuban woman while fighting of the Spaniard. With the caption reading, “THE NOBLE HERO (to the HEAVY VILLAIN): Stand back, there, gold darn ye! If you force this thing to a fifth act, remember that’s where I git in my work!” [1]

After we discussed this piece in particular in class I went back to read the Hoganson article and found, “For three years before the battleship Maine sank in Havana harbor, jingoes took advantage of the widespread sympathy for the Cubans to promulgate their martial ideas.” [2] Hoganson was pointing out that with these political cartoons that were plastered on the front of magazines and in newspapers, were trying to show and tell the Americans that something needed to be done about the situation Cuba is in with Spain. This is how the media became something of worth to the propaganda “industry”. They paid for the space in the magazines and newspapers that people read everyday and every week. They wanted to get their message across to everyone, so when people were needed the wait for those people was not going to be very long. With three years before the Maine disaster they had time to prepare for war when the disaster had finally come to life. Hoganson wrote, “Because jingoes gained greater political visibility and widened their appeal by grafting their bellicose ambitions onto the Cuban cause, to un­derstand how they spread their martial vision, it is first necessary to understand the nature of the Cubans’ appeal and the jingoes’ ability to manipulate it for their own purposes.” [3] These people who were writing up articles and creating the propaganda knew what they were doing, and they were manipulating the power they had created. It was just a matter of time before something concrete had happened that affected the U.S., and the action for involvement became necessary and political rather than humanitarian issues. With going back and reading Hoganson’s article again after we had discussed the cartoons in class really opened up my eyes and showed me the underlying effect the cartoon had on people and what the jingoes were accomplishing.

___________

[1] Jay Taylor, Puck, 3 June 1896

[2] Kristin Hoganson, Fighting for American Manhood: How gender politics provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), 43.

[3] Kristin Hoganson, 43-44.

 

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