Monday, January 25, 2010

Historical Image of the Day

This week's images will look at anti-Asian propaganda in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Handbill celebrating the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882, becoming the first law to ban an entire nation's immigrants from our shores. However, I'm not convinced that this image dates from that year, despite its celebratory tone. That's because it proclaims a Democratic president signed it. But Chester Arthur, a Republican if there was one, was president in 1882. So I'm assuming this handbill celebrates some kind of extension or modification signed by Grover Cleveland during one on his two terms.

However, one great thing about this handbill is the celebration of the Democratic party as protecting the white man, a key element of white supremacist ideology during the Gilded Age.