Political Cartoons and Public Debates This Library of Congress Student Discovery Set is here to put history into your hands. It brings together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents from the collections of the Library of Congress. Interactive tools let you zoom in for close examination, draw to highlight interesting details, and make notes about what you discover. There’s no single right answer, only new discoveries to be made.
For over two hundred years, whenever a debate has broken out in the United States, political cartoons have been there to take part in the argument—and sometimes to push it to its limits. Political cartoons from centuries of U.S. history paired with other historical documents let students explore the ways in which cartoonists try to persuade their audience.
This set is intended for open-ended primary source analysis by students. A Teacher’s Guide with background information, teaching ideas, and additional resources is available on the Library’s Web site for teachers, loc.gov/teachers.