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What Punch Forgot to Make Fun of - 1899


in full-page cartoons


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Park, Young Jin
Term Paper, AP European History Class, May 2008



Table of Contents
I. Introduction
II. Peace Treaty Ending the Spanish-American War
II.1 Turnpike Trust
II.2 Philippine-Americam War
II.3 British Home Championship
II.4 Boxer Rebellion in China
III. Forgotten Minor Incidents
III.1 Inventions
III.2 Deaths
IV. Analysis of Incuidents in Punch
V Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography



I. Introduction
            Punch is a magazine of humor and satire which ran from 1841 until its closure in 2002. It is a very British institution and famous for its witty and irreverent take on the world. It captured the social and political issues very humorously by very famous cartoonists of the time. (1)
            Since its launch in 1841, Punch has published more than 500 thousands cartoons dealing with major social and political issues of the time. It has portrayed the great exhibition in 1841 and American Civil War to the invention of television and radio, the fall of Berlin Wall to the rise of New Labor. It dealt with every aspect of life in 19th and 20th centuries including some of the just plain funniest cartoons ever published. (2) However, there are some things which Punch forgot to make fun of.
            This paper will focus on the incidents in the year of 1899 which Punch forgot to make fun of and analyze the patterns of Punch cartoons and the reasons for not making some major incidents of the time. This paper will help readers understand the Punch cartoons better and analyze the forgotten incidents in Punch.

II. Forgotten Major Incidents
            There are some forgotten major incidents by Punch in the year of 1899. A number of incidents such as Dreyfus affair and the Boer War were the main focus of the satire with big portions in the whole cartoon in 1899. Especially, the Boer War was very directly related with the interest of England so that other major incidents which were occurred in different parts of the globe were easily forgotten. Punch forgot to make fun in 1899 of the Peace Treaty of Spanish-American Civil War, Philippine-American War,

II.1 The Peace Treaty in the Spanish-American War
            On August 12, 1898, hostilities were stopped by signing in Washington of a Protocol of Peace between the United States and Spain. (4) The formal peace treaty was signed in Paris on December 10, 1898 and was ratified by the United States Senate on February 6, 1899. (5) Through the battles, United States gained most of the colonies of Spain including the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico. (6) The Spanish-American war was started because of the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain. United States got the idea of helping Cuba and gaining interests out of it and the actual act eventually brought about the Spanish-American War. (7)
            War between Spain and United States led to the Philippine-American War. (8) At this point, many other countries including England sent their warships to Philippine for their interests. (9) The Peace Treaty of Spanish-American War actually made it easier for America to concentrate on the Philippine-American war and which made Europe worry about the growing power of United States.
            However, in the Punch cartoon of February 8, just after the Peace treaty between Spain and United States, does not show the treaty; it shows the invention of wireless telegraphy by Marconi which would bring a great changes in warfare as wires were mandatory for the communication between battleships and other places before the invention. (10)

II.2 The Philippine-American War
            The Philippine-American War was an military conflict between the United States of America and First Philippine Republic, fought between 1899 to 1902. (11) United States tried to colonize Philippine and Philippine tried to gain independence. Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 at Treaty of Paris as a part of compensation. (12) The Malolos Congress declared war on the United States on June 2, 1899, with Pedro Paterno as a president of congress issuing a proclamation of War. (13) Philippine-American War was one of the bloodiest wars which the United States have ever fought in their history. (14).
            The Philippine-American war was a good topic for Punch to make fun of greedy Americans; however, Punch did not make fun of United States as Britain was the nation with the most colonies and these colonial affairs of United States were not the issues of making fun of but the issues that must be concerned seriously.

II.3 The British Home Championship
            There was British Home Championship in 1899. British Home Championship is annual football league in United Kingdom. (15) In the year 1899, there also was the British Home Championship and there had been some matches between four nations in the United Kingdom : England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. (16) This year, the scores were so high and England became the champion. (17)
            England defeated Ireland by 13-2 in Sunderland and it was just a first one of the two heavy defeats of Ireland. Scotland also defeated Ireland by 9-1. Ireland defeated Wales by 1-0 and Scotland defeated Wales by 6-0. England became the champion by defeating Scotland by 2-1 in 1898-1899 season. (18)
            As Punch was published in London, it could have make fun of other three nations for the victorious England; however, Punch does not show any aspects of football match. Football is obviously a big part of the life in United Kingdom. However, it was not that serious incidents for government and that is the reasons why Punch did not make fun of.

II.4 The Boxer Rebellion in China
            The Boxer Rebellion was an uprising by the people in the Chinese Society of Right and Harmonious Fists against the foreign dominance on many areas such as trade, politics, transportation and religion. (19) It started in China from November 1899 to September 7, 1901, at the final years of Qing Dynasty. (20)
            In 1899, the Boxers started the campaign of terror against the Christian missionaries in the northeastern territory. (21) Many governors officially criticized them but secretly supported them financially. (22) Some governors even supported the Boxers officially. People who had high degrees of education were opposed of such movement and tried to stop the bloody rebellions. (23).
            Through out 19th century, China had to make a lot of humiliating concessions with many other countries as foreign regiments defeated imperial army again and again. (24) Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Russia all claimed their exclusive trading rights to certain part of China. They were dividing China into the region of influence. (25) United States, looking for the way into China, suggested Open-door policy to China by John Hay which guaranteed equal trading rights to the European countries. European nations replied that they could accept the concept of the suggestion but cannot support it because it was not good for their own national profits. (26) However, United States accepted this as a ¡®yes¡¯ to China as European nations admitted that they liked the concept itself and considered their agreement "final and definitive". (27)
            While the great powers were having some conflicts about how to exploit China, the empress Tsu Hsi issued an imperial message to the provinces of China. (28) This message stimulated and seemed justifying the terrorism of the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists. (29)
            Punch did not make fun of this because the Punch makers also thought British possession on China was beneficial. Punch made fun of many things in satirical way which their makers thought something was wrong and needed criticism.

III. Forgotten Minor Incidents
            There are some minor incidents which are forgotten by the Punch and these are not big issues; however there are some Punch cartoons which dealt with some events like inventions of new technology. There are several minor incidents that could be shown up in the Punch. Those events are categorized by three categories: inventions, death and natural disasters

III.1 Inventions
            The Punch cartoon of February 8, 1899 shows the invention of wireless telegraphy by Marconi.(30) Marconi's invention of wireless communication changed many things in transportation and warfare strategies and technology.
            There is another great invention in 1899. Aspirin, which is one of the most common pills for aches, was officially patented and started to produce massively from 1899. (31) Before that there were some other medicines which had similar contents with Aspirin; however they were not appropriately used or made. (32)
            Another invention is a paper clip made by Johan Vaaler, Norwegian inventor. Paper clip made a big hit when it was first made. (33)
            These inventions were pretty significant features in our lives; especially the invention of Aspirin was a big step forward to the medicine history. However, because these things were not directly related to politics or warfare, Punch did not make any cartoons about those inventions.

III.2 Deaths
            Some famous persons died in 1899. The leading figures of countries and famous composer passed away on that year; yet, Punch does not show those of the dead people.
            Leo von Caprivi died in February 6, a former chancellor of Germany, who acquired territory for the colony of German South West Africa. (34)
            Felix Faure, the president of France, died in February 16. He made a lot of scandals about his death as he seemed to meet death while he was having a sexual relationship with 30-year-old woman. (35)
            Johann Strauss II, one of the most famous musicians in the world, also passed away in the year 1899. He was knows as the 'waltz king' in his days and many of his polkas and marches are very well known until today. (36)
            Punch did not make fun of these dead people as even some of them had a lot of things to criticize. Punch makers had manners not to make fun of dead people and they hardly did that in their cartoons.

IV. Analysis of the Incidents Portrayed in Punch
            Punch cartoons, one-page, made fun of many historical events which are especially political. They did not deal with many scientific or other areas of incidents unless they are tied up with politics or warfare. Thus, Cartoons had very constant main characters as they were the main focus of British. In the year 1899, the main topics of the Punch Cartoons were the Boer War and Dreyfus affair in France. They did not criticize some incidents which the Punch makers thought it was a right thing to do.

V. Conclusion
            Punch magazine, one of the oldest magazines in United Kingdom, made a lot of satires which were very meaningful and funny. It represented how common people thought about the events of the time and summarized the complicate event with only a cut of cartoon. Some of the events were not made fun in the one-page cartoon of the Punch, such as Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, British Home Championship and Boxer rebellion, in the year of 1899. Punch was not made to entertain people but to criticize the serious political issues easily so that it did not make fun of dead people with a lot of scandal and some significant inventions which was barely related with politics.


Notes (1)      "History of Punch" Punch.co.uk
(2)      "Punch Cartoon Galleries" Punch.co.uk.
(3)      Article : "1899", from Wikipedia
(4)      Spanish American War Chronology, from The Spanish American War, Central Website
(5)      Article "Spanish-American War", from Wikipedia
(6)      ibid.
(7)      Article "History of Cuba", from Wikipedia
(8)      Article "Spanish-American War", from Wikipedia
(9)      "Spanish-American War", from The World of 1898
(10)      Punch, Volume.114-119, Jan.1898 ? Dec. 1900
(11)      Article "Philippine-American War", from Wikipedia
(12)      Article "Spanish-American War", from Wikipedia
(13)      Article "Philippine-American War", from Wikipedia
(14)      Article "Philippine-American War", from Geocite, Yahoo
(15)      Article "British Home Championship", from Wikipedia
(16)      Article "1899 British Home Championship", from Wikipedia
(17)      ibid.
(18)      "England in the British Championship", from England Football Online
(19)      Article "Boxer Rebellion", from Wikipedia
(20)      ibid.
(21)      "Boxer Rebellion", from Paul and Bernice Noll's Window on the World
(22)      Fei Ch'i-hao, ¡®"The Boxer Rebellion", Modern History Sourcebook
(23)      ibid.
(24)      ibid.
(25)      "The Boxer Rebellion", from The Simple Planet Communication
(26)      ibid.
(27)      ibid.
(28)      Article "Boxer Rebellion", from Wikipedia
(29)      ibid.
(30)      Punch, Volume.114-119, Jan.1898 ? Dec. 1900
(31)      Article : "1899", from Wikipedia
(32)      Article "Aspirin", from Wikipedia
(33)      Article : "1899", from Wikipedia
(34)      Articl;e "Leo von Caprivi", from Wikipedia
(35)      Article "Felix Faure", from Wikipedia
(36)      Article "Johann Strauss II" from Wikipedia

Bibliography Note : websites quoted below were visited in May 2008.
1.      "Punch" Website of Punch Magazine and Cartoon Galleries
2.      Article : "1899", from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1899
3.      Article "Spanish-American War", from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/spanish_american_war
4.      Spanish American War Chronology, from The Spanish American War, Central Website http://www.spanamwar.com/timeline.htm
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/history_of_cuba
6.      "Spanish-American War", from The World of 1898 http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/
7.      Article "Philippine-American War", from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/philippine_american_war
8.      Article "Philippine-American War", from Geocite, Yahoo http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Crete/9782
9.      Article "British Home Championship", from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/british_home_championship
10.      Article "1899 British Home Championship", from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1899_british_home_championship
11.      "England in the British Championship", from England Football Online http://www.englandfootballonline.com/CmpBC/CmpBC.html
12.      Article "Boxer Rebellion", from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/boxer_rebellion
13.      "The Boxer Rebellion", from The Simple Planet Communication http://www.smplanet.com/imperialism/fists.html
14.      Fei Ch'i-hao, ¡®"The Boxer Rebellion", from Modern History Sourcebook http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1900fei-boxers.html
15.      Article "Aspirin", from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/aspirin
16.      Articl;e "Leo von Caprivi", from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/leo_von_caprivi
17.      Article "Felix Faure", from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/felix_faure
18.      Article "Johann Strauss II", from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Strauss_II


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