‘The international Siamese twins’
The iconography of Anglo-American inter-imperialism
in Comic empires
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This chapter argues that American graphic artists refigured the visual language of Anglo-American relations into a versatile and adaptable imagery for understanding the United States’ place in world affairs, and its newfound status as an empire among empires. This imagery of Anglo-American imperial reciprocity competed with the better-known, and versatile visual culture of American Anglophobia in the late nineteenth century. Anglophobia provided a flexible framework into which American politicians and commentators could position complex political problems, ignite electoral passions, and rally support for foreign policy objectives. As the growth of the US economy accelerated in the Gilded Age, John Bull and Uncle Sam appeared frequently as industrial and commercial competitors. In the imagery of economic nationalism, John Bull was imagined as being crowded out of world markets; defeated by a wealthy and assertive Uncle Sam, in the industries at which he traditionally excelled. However, united by imperial warfare, colonial insurgencies, and nervousness over the future of world politics, John Bull and Uncle Sam were also reformulated as partners in the quest for global leadership. The iconography of inter-imperialism celebrated shared cultural and social interconnections and featured new hybrid symbols of Anglo-American global leadership.

Comic empires

Imperialism in cartoons, caricature, and satirical art


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