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Cartoons and Caricatures
The figure of Jean-Baptiste was adopted by cartoonists as a traditional embodiment of French Canada. In French-Canadian political cartoons, this recurring character expresses a range of attitudes toward Confederation, from physical distress to energetic patriotism. Especially during the 1860s, the desire to protect French-Canadian culture resulted in portraits of Confederation as a dangerous, even monstrous, political option. By the turn of the century, Jean-Baptiste became a champion of the Canadian identity.
"Effet de la Confédération"
Côté's woodcut from December 1864 shows Jean-Baptiste sitting uncomfortably on a chamber pot.
Upper and Lower Canada will be consumed by Confederation or Annexation. Abraham Lincoln intends to devour turkeys and cooks alike (1865).
"Le statuquo de G. Brown"
Côté's representation of George Brown in April 1866 shows the editor of the Globe balanced uneasily between political options.
American Fenians threaten Canada across the neutral border in Côté's depiction of the leading national security concern of 1866.
"Le moment psychologique"
Jean-Baptiste rejects the clothing of imperialism and annexation in favour of the warm tuque and clothes of Canadian independence (1903).
"Notre drapeau national"
The flag adopted by Canada in 1965 was anticipated by this maple-leaf design, proudly displayed by Jean-Baptiste in 1903.
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