Evolutionary socialists who wanted to upgrade the gas and water systems of cities were viewed as communists who wanted to overthrow the government and create a Soviet style state

Evolutionary socialists who wanted to upgrade the gas and water systems of cities were viewed as communists who wanted to overthrow the government and create a Soviet style state

Our country has a rough history in regards to political activity that is left of the center. Opponents to the conservative right tended to lump those on the left into one group. Evolutionary socialists who wanted to upgrade the gas and water systems of cities were viewed as communists who wanted to overthrow the government and create a Soviet style state. These two were also grouped with anarchists who wanted no government at all and were willing to use violence to get there. At the peak of the popularity of the Socialist Party of America, 1912, the socialist candidate for President, Eugene V. Debs, got one million votes, 6% of the total. The Socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, had 750,000 subscribers. Most socialists were workers who wanted to be fairly compensated for their work.

 

More conservative Americans felt that any leftist politics were about taking wealth from those who had worked both hard and intelligently to accumulate it and give it to those who did nothing to earn it. This ran counter to the Protestant Work Ethic, which dominated American thought at the end of the 19th Century. When you combine that with the fact that the communist saint Karl Marx called religion “the opiate of the masses,” leftist ideology seemed to attack everything good in America.

 

This assignment requires you to compare the “arguments” made by two political cartoons, one socialist and the other anti. Cartoon can be useful in helping us understand the core of a person’s argument. Political cartoonists often tried to “hit people with their best shot” in an attempt to make their point. They often make no attempt to be objective, and exaggerate or simplify complex historical events to prove their assertion(s). As when analyzing written documents, you need to understand the context in which the cartoon was produced. Who wrote or drew it? What views did they have? Where was it published? What were the goals of the publication? What were its readers like? What was the general political climate like? What was included and what was glossed over? These kinds of questions get to the “story behind the story.”

 

 

 

discuss the “arguments” that each of both of the cartoons above in a minimum 500 word article. Be sure to contextualize their arguments. Come to a conclusion about which was more effective, not that you were necessarily convinced, but which one made the stronger case to its audience. You may want to review both the wiki and writing guidelines given in the introduction to the class. You also will want to not leave this until the last minute as it will leave no time for collaboration.

 

Grading Rubric

 

You will be graded by the amount of words you contributed and the time you spend editing. While you do not get a group grade, nobody will receive full points for a poorly edited and poorly thought out entry.

 

You contribute a sentence but the finished product is awesome, 3/10.

 

You contribute a sentence but the finished product is not so good, 2.5/10.

 

Hey, my group has got this, 0/10. There are no free rides for this group assignment.

 

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