Title :

Death or liberty : British political prints and the struggle for symbols in the American Revolution

Author :
RAUSER, Amelia ;
Publication year :
Language :
English ;
Abstract :
Liberty was a crucially important concept, slogan, and symbol for 18th-c. Britons. While liberty was an historically valued characteristic of British national identity, blandly embraced by all political factions in the 1760s and 1770s, it was also a cause and concept essential to the emergent liberal values of the burgeoning middle classes. The cause of the American colonists became a catalyst for the debate over the proper meaning of liberty, and political prints which represented this conflict provided an arena for the struggle over the possession of this prized symbol. At first, political prints repeatedly represented the colonists as aggrieved Britons - their rights were the rights of Englishmen. But when the conflict with America came to war, liberty came to represent a literal freedom: independence for the colonies from Great Britain. Thus, the colonists who once were depicted as the best of Britons, were now an ambiguous enemy - and when they left the union, liberty, its symbolism and its attendant values, went with them. This transference of the symbols of liberty, accompanied by an incursion of ironic caricature into the visual language of political prints, was all but universal in political print representations by the end of the war. ;
Pagination/Size :
12 ill. ;
Topic :
French keywords :
Caricature ; Estampe ; Grande-Bretagne ; Guerre d'Indépendance (Etats-Unis: 1775-1783) ; Iconographie ; Liberté ; Politique ; Symbolisme ; 1700-1800 ; 1750-1785 ;
Descriptors :
Caricature ; Great Britain ; Iconography ; Liberty ; Politics ; Prints ; Revolution (United States: 1775-1783) ; Symbolism ; 1700-1800 ; 1750-1785 ;
Document type :
Article ;
Source :
Oxford art journal, 1998, 21, 2
INIST identifier :
24999586 ;
ISSN 0142-6540 ;
Provenance :
Bibliographie d'Histoire de l'Art ;
Publisher :
Setsquare, Oxford
Publisher country :