The Rise of the American Cartoon: 1865 1896
IN THE YEARS FOLLOWING the Civil War, America was engulfed by great tides of immigration, massive industrialization, and widespread political corruption. An invigorated press would evolve to chronicle these developments, using elaborate illustrations and cartoons to reinforce the text. During the next three decades the craft of cartooning would be honed and elevated to the plateau of art. Two German immigrants, Thomas Nast and Joseph Keppler, would set the standards for the fledgling craft—standards of excellence that are still the hallmark of the profession.