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Results for BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

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

16 Min

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

13 Min

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

21 Min

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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American Progress | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

16 Min

If you lived in 1872, would this painting inspire you to pack up and move west? Mary is joined by Jotwan Daniels, 2019 BRI Teacher Council Member and high school teacher in Breckenridge, Colorado, as they explore John Gast's "American Progress" (1872) and America's rapid push westward following the civil war. What does this painting tell you about America's values at the time? Is it really documenting progress for everyone?

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

15 Min

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

19 Min

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?

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Monuments and Memory | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

16 Min

How do we choose to remember past events, and what does that say about us? Mary and Gary explore the "Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment" by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1884 - 1897). Shaw was a Union officer of the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first all African American military units. Nearly half of the regiment, including Shaw, would be killed, captured, or wounded at the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863. What does the story of the monument reveal about the challenges African Americans faced fighting in the Civil War? What can we learn from this regiment's bravery?

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The Anti-Chinese Wall: Immigration Images in the Gilded Age | BRIdge from the Past

14 Min

Have American views on immigration changed over time? In this episode, Mary walks through "The Anti-Chinese Wall" cartoon by Friedrich Graetz to understand the discriminatory reasons why many Americans objected to Chinese immigration in the late 19th century, and what they revealed about many Americans' beliefs during the time. How did the debate against Chinese immigration turn into the Chinese Exclusion Act?

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There’s Something Happening Here: The Vietnam War and Student Protests | BRIdge from the Past

11 Min

While the 1960s may have opened as an optimistic era, by the end of the decade, Americans were deeply divided over the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. In this video, Mary looks at photographs both at home and abroad, examining the lives of those who fought in the war and those that protested in the streets. What does it mean to be patriotic? To serve? To protest? Can someone do both?

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Thomas Nast on Reconstruction | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

17 Min

What impact did the Reconstruction Amendments have on the application of our Founding principles? In this video, Mary and Gary explore two Reconstruction-era cartoons by Thomas Nast. “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner" (1869) and “The Union As It Was" (1874) give insight into the nature of liberty and equality in the United States shortly after the Civil War. Do you agree with Nast’s commentary about the intentions and consequences of Reconstruction?

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Thomas Nast Takes on Boss Tweed | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History

12 Min

What is the role of the press in a democratic republic? In this video, Mary and Liz explore another one of Thomas Nast’s political cartoons, “The Tammany Tiger Loose" (1871). This striking image aided in the downfall of the corrupt de facto controller of the New York City Democratic Party, William “Boss” Tweed. Knowing both the positive and negative impact that Tweed had on NYC, do you believe Nast’s depiction of Tweed was fair?

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

17 Min

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.