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Cartoons and Caricatures
Confederation and political cartoons have at least one thing in common: they both express a grand vision. However, the grand vision at work in political cartoons is usually a product of satire, a technique that uses exaggeration to ridicule a subject. Caricatures of the Fathers of Confederation often depict heroic figures in order to imply the opposite qualities. Yet as J. W. Bengough demonstrates, a cartoonist might recognize the limitations of his own grand vision, and present himself as a satirical subject.
In this cartoon from September 1878, Bengough predicts that Macdonald will be rejected by Canada in the general election.
"O, Our Prophetic Soul!"
When Macdonald won the 1878 election, Bengough caricatured himself. Macdonald is shown holding Bengough's cartoon "Renewing the Lease."
"The Coming Attraction!"
In this 1879 cartoon, Bengough depicts politics as theatre, with Macdonald performing roles -- including several villains -- from Shakespearean tragedy.
"Sir Charles Tupper et le parlement"
This caricature of Sir Charles Tupper from February 1896 depicts Liberal anxiety, Conservative wishful thinking and Tupper's self-regard.
"See the mighty hosts advancing."
On September 1st, 1905, the Saskatchewan Act and the Alberta Act were adopted by the Canadian government and two new provinces joined Canada.