Nast vs. Morgan: Grant vs. Greeley

The campaign for presidency in 1872 is often seen to be the most gruesome campaign in United States history.While Grant's administration was suffering from corruption, Greeley was simply a backup nominee for the Liberals.Both parties had political cartoonists to do their "mudslinging" for them.Grand had Thomas Nast and Greeley had Matt Morgan.Each inflicted serious damage to the other's campaign, although Grant came out victorious.
Each side portrayed the other as evil and "non-American".Greeley supporters portrayed Grant as a dictator, an American Caesar, and a drunk.Meanwhile, Grant supporters ruthlessly saw Greeley as a traitor and a flake.The cartoons attempted to address almost everything from reconstruction to voting.In regard to reconstruction, Greeley hoped to rid the south of any military presence, shown by the cartoon "Swords into Plowshares".In this cartoon, Greeley is portrayed as a blacksmith, pounding the swords, symbolizing war, into plowshares, while Grant looks in from the doorway. However, in Grant's cartoons, he claims to have Colombia protecting him, because he protected her as a general during the civil war.The cartoons seem to try to avoid the topic of slavery.Although there are black people depicted in the cartoons,the issue of slavery is never the subject of the cartoon.
The campaign of 1972 truly proved to be a gruesome "mudslinging" battle, between the undesirable Greeley, and the fraudulent Grant.Both had major faults, which created a template for political war for the cartoonists.Both put up a well fought battle, but Grant emerged victorious after elections.


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