Sunday, December 18, 2022

"Join, or Die" and the Seven Years' War

My daughter Sara is studying the American Revolution in her high-school history class in Basel, and one of the images she was given to consider is the famous "Join, or Die" cartoon. I have always associated it with the 1770s, but the image, which is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, was originally published in 1754 in the earlier context of the Seven Years' War. That is, it was not about the colonies uniting in the face of the British government's exploitation of them. Rather, it was about the colonies uniting to face the threat of the French military coming from the west. Only later was the image reinterpreted as resistance against Britain. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 18 December 2022)

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