This political cartoon is about the Philippines. The Filipinos assumed their independence after the Spanish-American War, but were tragically deceived. Bitterness toward occupying American troops erupted into open insurrection on February 4, 1899 under Aguinaldo. The Americans infiltrated a guerrilla camp and captured Aguinaldo. The fighting claimed over 600,000 Filipino lives. William Howard Taft became the civil governor of the Philippines after this. America spent millions to improve roads, sanitation, and public health. American teachers set up a school system and helped make English a second language. However, the Filipinos hated compulsory Americanization and pined for liberty. In this cartoon, Taft is patting the head of the Filipino as if Taft was a big brother helping out his little brother. Taft even has a dialogue box that says, "My little brown brother," because he formed a strong attachment to the Filipinos and called them that. Taft, or what could be a representation of America, wants to help the Philippines out, but, as shown in the picture, the Filipino doesn't want to be Americanized and wants the Americans to leave him and his fellow Filipinos alone.
The political cartoon is of a pear, which represents Hawaii. Hawaii had attracted much attention from the Americans with its growing center for sugar production. Americans began to look at Hawaii as an expansion of their country. Americans were afraid that other powerful, worldly powers would want to get their hands on the islands, so desperate whites gave effort to annex Hawaii to the United States. However, Queen Liliuokalani insisted that native Hawaiians should control the islands.The whites, therefore, organized a successful revolt in 1893, assisted by American troops. A treaty of annexation was rushed to Washington but President Cleveland rejected it because he suspected that his powerful nation greatly wronged Queen Liliuokalani and her people. This pear represents the outcome of this dispute. Hawaii was known as the ripening pear and in this cartoon Hawaii is drawn as a pear. Nowadays fruit has a sticker placed on it, saying where the fruit comes from and who grows it. In the cartoon, the sticker says "Pears of Queen Liliuokalani" because Hawaii was still under the Queen's power, for now.
Many kids (usually teenagers) hate it when their parents come barging in their door and bothering them without asking. This is what is occurring in this cartoon, except, the child represents China and the Mother represents European countries. The door represents the Open Door, mainly because the door is in fact open. In 1899, Secretary of State John Hay urged European powers involved with China to announce that their spheres of influence would respect certain Chinese rights and the ideal of fair competition. Hay did not consult the Chinese themselves. This action is represented by the child's angryness toward his mother for barging in without warning. It even says "Keep Out" on the child's door. Patriotic Chinese got really mad and "Boxers" broke loose with the cry, "Kill Foreign Devils." They murdered more than two hundred foreigners and thousands of Chinese Christians and besieged the foreign diplomatic community in Beijing. The child's dialogue of, "What the heck, Mom?!" represents China's reaction of murders and the cry "Kill Foreign Devils!"