DECLINED WITH THANKS
The Antis - “Here take a dose of this anti-fat and get thin again!”
Uncle Sam - “No. Sorry! I never did take any of that stuff, and I’m too old to begin.”
The political cartoon "Declined With Thanks" was published in Puck on September 5, 1900. It depicts a large Uncle Sam getting a new outfit made at "McKinley and Company National Tailors."
The cartoon endorses the expansionist foreign policy of President William McKinley with "Declined With Thanks” - a sarcastic reference to the anti-expansionists who opposed the United States' territorial acquisitions and foreign policy.
The stripes in Uncle Sam’s pants (made with “enlightened” fabric) represent the “natural increases” in the size of the United States, a process that began with the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and continued with the acquisitions of Florida (1821), Texas (1845), California (1848), and Alaska (1867). They continue with the annexation of Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Uncle Sam rejects the tonic of “Anti-Expansion Policy” offered by three anti-imperialists (left-right): Oswald Ottendorfer, publisher and editor of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung; Carl Schurz, a vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League and former U.S. senator (1869-1874) from Missouri, secretary of the interior (1877-1881), and editor of Harper’s Weekly (1892-1898); and, Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World. More
The cartoon portrays the anti-expansionists as small and weak, while Uncle Sam is large and powerful, symbolizing the strength and superiority of the United States. The cartoon was created by J.S. Pughe and was widely circulated during the 1900 presidential election.
Here’s a critique of American Imperialism from the same era
John Samuel Pughe (3 June 1870 – 19 April 1909), was a Welsh-born American political cartoonist, best known for his illustrations for Puck magazine.
Title: Declined With Thanks
Creator(s): J. S. (John S.) Pughe (1870-1909)
Source: Puck Magazine
Date Created/Published: September 5, 1900
Reproduction Number: LC-USZC4-2158
It turns out that obesity was our manifest destiny.