Boss William Tweed, Thomas Nast's Cartoons & the Fall of Tammany Hall

Boss William Tweed, Thomas Nast's Cartoons & the Fall of Tammany Hall

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Boss Tweed, Cartoons, and the Fall of Tammany Hall
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Boss Tweed & Thomas Nast Lesson Plan

Through the power of political cartoons, students learn how Thomas Nast brought down one of the most powerful and corrupt politicians in American history, Boss William Tweed and how he epitomized corruption during the Gilded Age.

 

Lesson Overview

Through the power of political cartoons, students learn how Thomas Nast brought down one of the most powerful and corrupt politicians in American history, Boss William Tweed and how he epitomized corruption during the Gilded Age. Diving deep into the wonderful muck of Gilded Age corruption, students explore the rise of Boss William Tweed and how he and Tammany Hall and corruption that existed at local and national levels during the Gilded Age; from the Grant Administration, the Credit Mobilier scandal, and down to political machines at the local level.  But they also learn how reform was brewing, including a wonderful mini-story of Garfield’s assassination leading to civil service reform and most importantly how Thomas Nast’s cartoons were powerful enough to take down Tweed and the machine that had controlled NYC for nearly a century. It's really flipping good.

What Students Do

Students first analyze some of the most famous Thomas Nast cartoons exposing Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed’s corruption and then create their own political cartoon on political machines

Skill Development: Analyzing political cartoons, understanding symbolism, creativity and artistic expression.