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Power Behind the Throne of Justice. The : The Civil Courts Must be Emancipated from Un-Civil Politics.

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. May 17, 1884.

  • MEDIUM: Engraving,

    DATE: 1884.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 11 7/16 x 9 5/16" (29 x 23.6 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: This political cartoon references the cry for social reform and end of political corruption in America. It was heated issue during the presidential election of 1884. Columbia, the personification of America, sits in her chair blindfolded, weighing 'sin' with the weight of 'political influence' against 'law.' This represents the idea of blind justice, which the courts were supposed to stand upon. In her lap rests the sword of liberty. Above Columbia's head is a sign reading, 'Free pass for political criminals' decorated with a skull and crossbones, and a tired, sulking bald eagle. Laying the trash in the foreground is 'law,' representing the political corruption going on at the time. <br><br> The figure standing behind Columbia might be Grover Cleveland, who was running as a Democratic candidate for the presidential elections. His platform was that of anti-corruption and was a favorite among those seeking reform. In his left hands are a series of ballots labeled 'votes,' likely referring to his hopes for presidency. In his left hands is the 'Boss Whip,' which would refer to his idea of beating out corruption.


  • CONDITION: Good condition.