The Old Print Shop

Church and State - No Union Upon Any Terms.

  • ARTIST: Thomas Nast

  • PUBLISHER: Published by Harper's Weekly. February 25, 1871.

  • MEDIUM: Wood engraving,

    DATE: 1871.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 9 x 13 5/8" (22.9 x 34.7 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: In this cartoon the artist, Thomas Nast, reminds the public of the importance of the Separation of Church and State. Columbia, the female personification of America, brushes away the religious entities seeking aid and political standing within the government. It was a particular problem with parochial schools, which were seeking funding from the state in order to finance their religious teachings. At this point in American history Catholicism was despised throughout much of the country and they were one of the strongest entities demanding financial aid. Allowing it, Nast says in this cartoon, opens the way for all religious entities to demand funding, which would place religion over the needs of the general public. <br><br> The crowd trying to overtake Columbia comprises of various religious groups. Behind each of their human entities is a wagon bearing their given religious building. These groups are labeled as "Roman Catholic", "Quaker Meeting", "Mormon Tabernacle", "Synagogue", "Church Around the Corner" (a reference to the famous church in New York City, where Nast was from), "Methodist", "Holy Trinity", "Baptist", "Temple of Jupiter", to name a few.


  • CONDITION: Good condition.