Thank You Columbia

This cartoon is an attempt to illustrate the Americans as friends and worthy imperial partners. Again, it is taken from the Boer war period, a period of diplomatic isolation for the British and it emphasises the help received from the Americans (in whatever form). America is represented by a very obviously attired Columbia in full star spangled regalia and full of warmth and friendship for the British. In many ways this cartoon portrays a wishful thinking in international politics that did not actually manifest itself in reality. The Americans were indeed taking an imperial plunge at this moment in time, fresh with victories in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Plenty of British statesmen and opinion makers were making overtures to the Americans to take up the white man's burden (as Kipling labelled it). However, the Americans did manage to resist the temptation and calls on common heritage from the British. Perhaps the nation of immigrants was wary of creating the potential for nationalistic rivalries within its own population. Whatever the reason, unsubtle hints at a wider imperial mission, such as this cartoon, was ultimately to fall upon deaf ears.

Return to Punch Menu

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe