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“Executive Usurpation”? King Andrew the First | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

What was Andrew Jackson’s “war” on the Bank of the United States? Mary and Kirk explore two images, “King Andrew the First (1833)” and “The Downfall of Mother Bank (1833),” to explain the context of these banking wars and connect them to the concept of presidential power. Was Andrew Jackson using the Bank War and executive authority to become a tyrant? Or were his actions purely in the best interest of the United States? Comment your thoughts below!

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Continuity or Change? Presidential Elections | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

In this episode, Mary and Josh analyze a political cartoon depicting the controversial 1824 presidential election in a unique way. “A foot-race” (1824) shows a crowd cheering on candidates John Quincy Adams, William Crawford, Andrew Jackson, and Henry Clay as they race toward a finish line. Which details stand out to you as meaningful, and what do they convey about popular opinions on the election?

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A Satirical Look at The XYZ Affair | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

In this episode, Mary and Kirk analyze the British satirical cartoon “Property protected à la Françoise” (1798). The image pokes fun at Franco-American relations in the wake of the XYZ Affair, a diplomatic incident that occurred during John Adam’s presidency. As a prerequisite to trade negotiations, French officials solicited bribes from U.S. diplomats, which soon sparked controversy in America. The cartoon depicts five Frenchmen plundering a personified America while other European countries watch from a distance. From the visual clues provided, what political argument do you think this cartoon is making?

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Washington Crossing the Delaware | BRIdge to the Past: Art Across U.S. History

Emanuel Leutze's "Washington Crossing the Delaware" is an image we see frequently in the United States from a young age. It has been reproduced and repurposed by artists into the present day. Washington's decision to cross the river with his men in 1776 was made in desperation, yet Leutze portrayed it 75 years later as an epic and heroic moment in time. What can this reveal about interpretations of symbolic events in American history? Join BRI staff Mary Patterson and Liz Evans to find out.

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A Tale of Two Georges: Exploring Portraits of George III and George Washington | BRIdge to the Past

This week, Mary brings Gary on to compare the portraits of the famous two Georges of early American history, George Washington and King George III of England. They'll explore the reasons behind each man's deliberately chosen outfits and stances. What do these paintings convey about the leaders' confidence and leadership against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War? And what unlikely similarities between the two men do these paintings reveal?

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Exploring Pre-Revolution Taxation Cartoons | BRIdge to the Past: Art Across U.S. History

Staff members Mary Patterson and Joshua Schmid examine two 18th-century political cartoons, “Stamp Master in Effigy” (1765) and Philip Dawe’s “The Bostonians paying the excise-man, or tarring & feathering” (1774). Both works depict the colonial dissatisfaction and violence that ran rampant during the American revolutionary period as the British Parliament imposed harsh taxes on stamps, tea, and other imports. What do these two cartoons tell us about colonial America in the lead-up to war?