What Did Benjamin Franklin’S Famous 1754 Cartoon Say?
- Dave Jackson
Join, or Die is a political cartoon drawn by Benjamin Franklin in 1754 that makes a comment on the divisiveness of the Thirteen Colonies during the French and Indian War. The cartoon is titled Join, or Die. During the closing stages of the American Revolutionary War, it was utilized to persuade the colonies to band together in support of the cause of independence.
What is the message of Franklin’s cartoon?
What exactly was the symbol for Join or Die? Benjamin Franklin made a political cartoon and woodcut entitled “Join, or Die” in the year 1754. At the beginning of the French and Indian War, it was devised with the intention of uniting the American colonies in opposition to the French and their Native American allies.
What was Benjamin Franklin’s message in the cartoon Join or Die?
EXplorations Resources for Educators Regarding the Revolution Join or Die Join the Library of Congress or Perish! Published in the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9th, 1754 with an illustration Benjamin Franklin’s admonition to the British colonies in America to “join or die” and his exhortation for them to band together against the French and the Native Americans is depicted in the first political cartoon to be published in an American newspaper.
The cartoon is titled “Join or Die.” It depicts a segmented snake with the letters “S.C.,” “N.C.,” “V.,” “M.,” “P.”, “N.J.,” “N.Y.,” and “N.E.” This cartoon was published in Ben Franklin’s newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, on May 9, 1754 as part of an editorial by Franklin in which he commented on “the present disunited condition of the British Colonies.” Franklin’s editorial was titled “the present disunited state of the British Colonies.” The woodcut design depicts a serpent that has been sliced into eight sections, each of which represents a different colonial administration.
The artwork was based on the widespread belief that reuniting the pieces of a snake that had been severed in two would cause it to regain its life if it was done so before the sun set. The drawing was quickly replicated in a number of different publications since it was so well received by the general population.
- It has been hypothesized that the “Join or Die” snake is a “cartographic caricature,” which refers to a map that generalizes and exaggerates the most recognized characteristics of the American colonies, including their positions and coasts.
- The colonies are shown in the order that they were established geographically, with the New England colonies at the top of the snake and South Carolina at the very bottom.
There is no separate listing for each of the colonies that were established in New England, and Georgia is conspicuously absent from the compilation. The undulations that can be seen on the body of the snake are reminiscent, in broad strokes, of the east coast of North America.
- At first, many believed that the letter that was located just above the fourth section of the snake was a “R.” Recent research, on the other hand, has shown that the letter is a “P,” which stands for the state of Pennsylvania.
- The original page of the cartoon that was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754 was examined by the Library of Congress.
This page was located in their copy of the Pennsylvania Gazette. Conservators made the discovery that, by examining the woodcut under a microscope, they were able to see that, “The part of the paper that seems like a diagonal leg of the letter R is actually something that is lodged in the paper.
|Detail from microscopic examination of the Join or Die image from the Library of Congress copy of the Pennsylvania Gazette , May 9, 1754.|
Taken from: Colonial Willimasburg Primary Source of the Month, published on November 06, 2013, available online at http://www.history.org/history/teaching/enewsletter/volume5/november06/primsource.cfm) 2021: The Copyright of Digital History
What was the meaning of Benjamin Franklin’s political cartoon?
Benjamin Franklin created the “Join, or Die” graphic and submitted it as a political cartoon to the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754. At the time, the Pennsylvania Gazette was an early American newspaper. Franklin referred to “the current disunited state of the British Colonies” while describing the cartoon’s depiction of “the present disjointed state of the British Colonies.” The cartoon is a portrayal of all of the British Colonies as a cut-up segmented rattlesnake.
- The “Join or Die” graphic may be found in source.
- (Foundation) The letters that are located next to the snake are an abbreviation for each colony, and they go from south to north in geographical order (South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, New England).
As a result of this, it can in fact be seen as a map of some form. Georgia and Delaware are not shown on it, and the colonies that were located in New England are grouped together rather than being broken out into their individual sections. The cartoon was first produced as a woodcut, which is an illustration that is carved on a piece of wood.
This was its first form. WHAT THE FLAG REPRESENTS During the French and Indian War, which lasted for a total of seven years, Ben Franklin’s primary objective was to unify the several colonies. After being published by Benjamin Franklin, this woodcut is widely regarded as the first ever political cartoon.
It was based on a myth that said that if a snake was cut in half and the two halves were reassembled before sunset, the snake would come back to life. (Source) The significance of the picture’s message was quickly recognized, and a great number of newspapers across the colonies republished the cartoon.
In his editorial, Franklin argued that a unified front on the part of the colonies would be beneficial to their overall strength. As Franklin wrote, “The current disunited state of the British Colonies, as well as the extreme difficulty of getting so many different governments and assemblies to agree on any swift and effective measures for our common defense and security, appear to be the primary reasons for the French government’s high level of confidence in this undertaking.
In contrast, our adversaries enjoy the very significant benefit of being unified under a single command. One Purse, one Council, and one Direction are Presented.” (Foundation) The passage that Franklin penned argues that the colonies, without unity, would be exceedingly difficult with so many separate administrations, laws, and assemblies.
- A merger was considered required.
- AMERICAN REVOLUTION It is safe to say that the cartoon did not lose any of its appeal despite the fact that it was released a long time before the American Revolution.
- The artwork was reused in the form of a banner advocating independence from Britain before to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
A great number of newspapers spread around the colonies published the graphic, which advocated for the colonial states to unite in order to form a more formidable opposition to British rule. The colonists and the British interpreted the picture in quite different ways, therefore it may be said that the comic had two very distinct interpretations.
- Patriots saw it as a method to achieve national unity and a step toward becoming a single, independent nation.
- The British Loyalists interpreted it as a gesture of contempt and as a sneaky and deceitful attempt to gain independence from the British Empire.
- Paul Revere affixed the cartoon to the main page of the Massachusetts Spy newspaper in 1774 in an effort to demonstrate a sense of solidarity against the British Empire.
The cartoon was repositioned so that it appeared to be attacking a British Dragon at the top of the newspaper. (Foundation) The cartoon snake that appeared in the “Join, or Die!” section of the newspaper was also depicted as attacking the dragon that appeared at the top of the newspaper.
- The serpent was now portrayed as a single piece, representing the full union of colonies, rather than being cut up into its component parts.
- In addition, the snake had the letter “G” at the bottom of it, which stood for the state of Georgia.
- On the other hand, the abbreviation for the New England colonies continued to be used in place of the specific colony designations.
LEGACY OF THE CARTOON Even after the American Revolution, the flag continued to be utilized in a variety of contexts. In point of fact, the “Join, Or Die” picture was the source of inspiration for the incorporation of snakes onto several American flags, such as the Gadsden and the First Navy Jack.
What did Benjamin Franklin write 1754?
On this day in 1754, Benjamin Franklin released the Join or Die woodcut, which would go on to become one of the most well-known cartoons in history. The artwork created by Franklin was accorded the status of an early political communications masterpiece despite its very minor significance at the time.
- Benjamin Franklin served as the publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette during this time period.
- In addition to this, he had been selected as a participant for a meeting that would soon take place in Albany, New York, to discuss how the British government might respond to the combined danger posed by French and Indian soldiers.
In what would later be known as the Albany Congress, delegates from seven different colonies, including Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, were scheduled to convene in order to discuss the threat posed by the French and work on a treaty with the Iroquois Confederacy.
- As the Albany Congress drew near, Benjamin Franklin was understandably anxious about a recent military defeat at the hands of the French, and it was evident that he was considering forming a colonial alliance to combat further French aggression.
- A few days after the minor military setback, Benjamin Franklin published an essay on the defeat.
The account was given by George Washington, who was serving as a young major in the Virginia Regiment. Franklin wrote in his letter that “The Confidence of the French in this Undertaking seems well-grounded on the present disunited State of the British Colonies, and the extreme Difficulty of bringing so many different Governments and Assemblies to agree in any swift and effectual Measures for our common Defense and Security.” Franklin was referring to the fact that it was extremely difficult to get so many different governments and assemblies to come to an agreement on any swift and effectual measures.
“They presume that they may with Impunity violate the most solemn Treaties subsisting between the two Crowns, kill, seize and imprison our Traders, and confiscate their Effects at Pleasure (as they have done for several Years past), murder and scalp our Farmers, with their Wives and Children, and take an easy Possession of such Parts of the British Territory as they find most convenient for them,” Franklin concluded, warning that the British presence in North America was dangerous.
Franklin believed that Along with the story came a cartoon titled “JOIN, OR DIE,” which depicted a serpent that had been chopped into eight sections, each of which represented a different British colony. The significance of Franklin’s message became clear as the cartoon and article spread among the various colony newspapers.
- Karen Severud Cook did a survey of the brief but intriguing historical interpretations of the cartoon in an essay that was published in The British Library Journal in 1996.
- According to Cook, Benjamin Franklin’s cartoon was also a symbolic map.
- The initials that were placed next to the segments of the serpent were arranged in the same order as the colonies, and there was a crude approximation of a shoreline.
Due to the fact that Franklin was so occupied with his political career, it is highly unlikely that he personally engraved the etching. In addition, Franklin’s political cartoon “Join or Die” was not the first cartoon of its kind that he had ever published; in 1747, he had created another picture for a pamphlet.
The words “se rejoindre ou mourir” were printed next to a picture of a severed snake that appeared for the first time in a book published in France in the year 1685. (will join or die). And it’s possible that the rattlesnake illustrations that nature historian Mark Catesby created influenced Benjamin Franklin as well.
As the Albany Congress drew closer, the image that became symbolic garnered a significant amount of attention. At the months of June and July, the Congress convened, and during one of those meetings, Benjamin Franklin made an early proposal for an united colonial government.
A Grand Council of delegates would be nominated by each of the colonies, and a President General would be appointed by the crown. The extent of Franklin’s administration was restricted, as it was only able to charge taxes and provide for unified military defense. The British government and the colonies never took any action on the idea, despite the fact that it was authorized by Congress.
In following years, the cartoon “Join or Die” made an appearance on several significant events. During the conflict over the Stamp Act, the insignia resurfaced once again in colonial publications. During the time of the American Revolutionary War, several cartoon iterations of the snake appeared in newspapers, sometimes even as an integral component of the masthead.
Which of the following best explains the purpose of the cartoon published in 1754?
Take a look at this political cartoon that Benjamin Franklin created in the year 1754. It was established in order to lend assistance to the Albany Plan of Union. Which of the following statements best explains what the cartoon is trying to say? It urges the formation of a unified government in order to better defend against potential dangers.
Who made the first political cartoon?
It is essential to keep in mind that the early political cartoons drawn in the United States were cartoons. On May 9, 1754, the earliest known example of a cartoon was published in Ben Franklin’s publication The Pennsylvania Gazette. It was published as a part of an editorial that Franklin was writing in which he offered his thoughts on “the present disunited situation of the British Colonies.” On January 30, 1788, another early cartoon from the 1700s was published in the Massachusetts Centinel.
- This one dates back to that year.
- The picture, which is given the title “The Federal Superstructure,” depicts a hand assisting in the process of bringing the Massachusetts pillar to an upright posture.
- The Centinel, a publication that favored the new Constitution, made the observation that “The Pillar of the Great Federal Edifice rises daily” in one of its articles.
The piece of artwork named “Join or Die” is a woodcut that depicts a serpent that has been chopped into eight segments, each of which represents a different colonial administration. The artwork was based on the widespread belief that reuniting the pieces of a snake that had been severed in two would cause it to regain its life if it was done so before the sun set.
- The drawing was quickly replicated in a number of different publications since it was so well received by the general population.
- The pillars that symbolize the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia as well as the state of Connecticut are shown in the stance of “having already approved the new document.” The New York Assembly will reportedly call for a convention to approve the Constitution, according to an article that can be seen below the illustration.
Even though the visual style of early political cartoons in the United States was somewhat different from what we see now, the subject matter of all of these cartoons was, without a doubt, political. And the things that are represented in the cartoon represent something else than what is actually depicted.
|JOIN, or DIE. An early American political cartoon originally published in Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper.||An early American political cartoon originally published in the Massachusetts Centinel newspaper.|
Why does the snake have 8 pieces and not 13?
Those three letters stand for the initials of the state. Why does the snake only have eight parts instead of thirteen? The region known as New England includes the remaining five states in the union.
What does the entire snake represent?
Snakes and serpents have traditionally been seen as symbols of fertility and rebirth due to their ability to transform into many forms. Snakes are considered to be symbols of rebirth, change, immortality, and healing due to their ability to lose their skin via a process known as sloughing.
- The ouroboros is a symbol that represents eternity as well as the never-ending cycle of life.
- In several Abrahamic religions, the snake is a metaphor for the urge to engage in sexual activity.
- In a number of readings of the Midrash, the serpent is interpreted to stand for the desire to have sexual encounters.
Kundalini is a coiled snake that plays an important role in Hinduism.
What does the broken snake tattoo mean?
‘Join, or Die’ Tattoo FAQ – What does it mean to have a tattoo that says “Join, or Die”? Each individual piece of the shattered serpent was intended to serve as a visual representation of a different colony coming together to fight both internal and international foes.
Through the course of time, the iconic imagery has developed new connotations and expanded conceptions of its own meaning. The broken snake pattern has maintained its significance over the course of hundreds of years and will continue to signify bravery, patriotism, and independence in the foreseeable future.
Is a tattoo that reads “Join, or Die” offensive? Every tattoo has the potential to be offensive, depending on how it is interpreted and the surrounding circumstances. Tattoos, like any other form of artistic expression, are susceptible to interpretation and evaluation.
- It is not inherently insulting to get a tattoo that is inspired by the phrase “Join, or Die” or that recreates the original artwork.
- This phrase has a history that dates back hundreds of years.
- The timeless quality of the classic drawing continues to be appealing to both artists and ink collectors.
- – Next Luxury is a publication that was first introduced to the world by Brian Cornwell in the year 2007.
Next Luxury is a publication that was first introduced to the world by Brian Cornwell in the year 2007.
What does each segment of the snake represent?
It is believed that Benjamin Franklin created the political cartoon entitled “Join, or Die.” The first recorded visual portrayal of colonial union in Colonial America was drawn by an American colonist and published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754.
This publication is considered to be the oldest surviving example of its kind. The illustration is in the form of a woodcut and depicts a serpent that has been sliced into eighths, with the initials of each of the American colonies and regions written on each segment. Instead of being shown as the four colonies as it was at the time, New England was unified into a single piece.
Due to the fact that Delaware was included in Pennsylvania, it was not given its own entry. Georgia, on the other hand, was not mentioned at all. This results in it having eight sections of a snake as opposed to the more typical thirteen colonies. The only colonies that were mentioned on the poster were those that claimed to have common American identities.
What is the main point of Benjamin Franklin’s speech in the convention?
What is the most important takeaway that can be taken away from Benjamin Franklin’s speech to the Convention? The Constitution should be supported by the Constitutional Convention since the document is now the best it is likely to be in the future.
Why did Benjamin Franklin proposed a plan of Union in 1754?
A Few Quick Facts Regarding the Albany Plan of Union –
- The Albany Congress was a meeting that was arranged by British authorities with the intention of strengthening relations between the American colonies and the Iroquois Confederation. The conference was held at Albany, New York.
- The Albany Congress was held at Albany, New York, beginning on June 19, 1754, and continuing until July 11.
- The Continental Congress was attended by delegates from seven of the original thirteen colonies: Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
- Benjamin Franklin presented the Albany Plan of Union on June 19, with the intention of forming a permanent federation of the colonies as a means to reform colonial-imperial relations and to more effectively address shared colonial interests. This would have been accomplished through the formation of a permanent union of the colonies.
- On July 10, 1754, the commissioners to the Albany Congress gave their approval to the Albany Plan of Union.
- The King of Great Britain, George II, as well as each of the separate colonial administrations that deliberated adopting the Albany Plan of Union, decided against doing so.
- The Albany Plan of Union was an important step in the development of American history since it was the first formal attempt to promote inter-colonial cooperation among the American colonies. This made it a crucial milestone in the history of the United States.
What did Benjamin Franklin propose and why?
According to the notes that Franklin kept, he suggested using an image that depicted Moses “standing on the shore, and extending his hand over the sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm pharaoh who is sitting in an open chariot.” This image would have been accompanied by the motto “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” While deliberating on a passage from the book to use, the committee chose
What message was Franklin’s cartoon delivering to the delegates at the Albany Congress?
The Cartoon Served as a Cautionary Tale During the time of the French and Indian War, he penned an emotional editorial in which he expressed concern that large numbers of French invaders would soon arrive at the western boundary in Ohio.
What purpose would the Grand Council serve?
“That the grand council is designed to represent all of the many houses of representatives of the colonies, just as a house of representatives does the several towns or counties of a colony,” which translates to “that the grand council is intended to represent all of the colonies.”
Why were colonists so angry about the taxation?
The majority of colonists were of the opinion that they should not be required to pay these taxes because they were enacted by Parliament in England and not by their own colonial administrations. They demonstrated and argued that the levies were an infringement of their rights as citizens of the United Kingdom.