In 1900, New York Journal political cartoonist Homer Davenport published a collection of his work titled The Dollar or the Man? The Issue of To Day. The cartoons focused on themes of government corruption and the threat that corporate power posed to America. These themes are with us today and will influence many of the votes cast in next week’s mid-term elections.
Davenport’s cartoons mark the beginning of the Progressive Era, a time when many believed that corporations sought to overthrow the government.
In "The Threat Before the Fight," Davenport shows Uncle Sam standing with a clenched fist. An elderly man, a woman with a baby, and a young boy rolling up his sleeves stand in the crowd behind him. They wear the tattered clothes of the "plain people" that Davenport references in his dedication at the front of the book.
On the opposite side stands Repulbican political operative Mark Hanna in his dollar-sign suit and diamond tie pin. In his right hand he holds a whip. Behind him is a menacing row of large Trust figures. Tattooed on their chests are the monopolistic corporations they represent: Standard Oil Trust, Sugar Trust, Coal Trust, etc.
— David Donihue, GreatCaricatures.com