The Republican congressman from Massachusetts, Benjamin F. Butler is shown in this caricature as a widow dressed in black. The cartoonist was referencing a speech Butler delivered in which he compared himself to a widow:
"YOU SEE I HAVE NO HESITATION IN SPEAKING ABOUT IT. I AM NOT LIKE A YOUNG MAIDEN; I AM MORE LIKE A WIDOW. I KNOW WHAT I WANT AND I AM NOT AFRAID TO ASK FOR IT." - Benjamin F. Butler's Speech at Lawrence, Mass., August 21.
Butler was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1866 and served until losing his seat in 1874. He sought re-election in 1876 and was actively campaigning for the Republican nomination. A 'Congressional Nomination" wreath is shown here as the object of his affection. He successfully regained his seat and would go on to become the governor of Massachusetts in 1882.
Office of the Clerk, http://artandhistory.house.gov/highlights.aspx?action=view%26intID=28, (9/21/2012).
This cartoon is meant to imply that the negative aspects of Andrew Carnegie's influence in the United States far outweighed his positive contributions. Carnegie, a highly successful industrialist and founder of the Carnegie Steel Company, was also notable for his philanthropic efforts. These included the donation of over $40 million to support the creation of more than 1,600 new public library buildings. The cartoonist also referenced Carnegie's offer to provide a $25,000 pension to all future former U.S. Presidents (though lawmakers declined this offer). The other side of the imbalanced scale holds the negative aspects of Carnegie's influence. Represented among these are child labor, low wages and excessive hours for his employees, as well as unethical business practices.
Ginsberg, W. (2008). CRS Report for Congress - Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Benefits. Retrieved from: < http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/109502.pdf >
National Parks Service. (2012). Carnegie Libraries: The Future Made Bright. Retrieved from: < http://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/50carnegie/50carnegie.htm >
While campaigning during the election of 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt spoke before the Convention of the the National Progressive Party:
"Our fight is a fundamental fight against both of the old corrupt party machines, for both are under the dominion of the plunder league of the professional politicians who are controlled and sustained by the great beneficiaries of privilege and reaction."
His words were a reflection of his long-time commitment to progressive reform and his battle against the influence of special interests, political bosses and machine politics. The cartoon shows one of his opponents, the incumbent President William Howard Taft, crashing into a solid and rock-like Roosevelt.
 Social Security Online. (2012). Brief History: Social Security Movement- Address by Theodore Roosevelt. Retrieved from: http://www.ssa.gov/history/trspeech.html
There are strong ties between the Pullman strike of 1894 and the Socialist Movement. The Pullman Strike occurred in Chicago, Illinois. George Mortimer Pullman was the founder and president of the Pullman Palace Car Company, a company which manufactured sleeping cars and operated them under contract to the railroads. In 1893, due to a depression, factory workers' wages were cut about twenty-five percent. The laborers were all required to live in the Pullman City and although he cut their wages, Pullman did not reduce the rental fees he charged to live in his houses. Most of his laborers went into debt to Pullman and their wages were garnished.
When Eugene V. Debs moved to Chicago to work for the railroad, as a fireman, he became aware of the harsh working conditions of the Pullman workers and he founded the American Railroad Union (ARU). He apparently became a socialist while in jail for instigating the Pullman Strike. Later he became the spokesman of the Socialist party. They made him their presidential candidate five times. The party at one time had 100,000 members and 1,200 office holders in 340 municipalities.
- History Is A Weapon, Chapter 13: the Socialist Challenge by Howard Zinn: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/socchal13.html
- Illinois Periodicals Online (IPO). The Pullman Strike http://www.lib.niu.edu/1994/ihy941208.html
"From December 1912 to December 1913, the Glass-Willis proposal was hotly debated, molded and reshaped. By December 23, 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law, it stood as a classic example of compromise—a decentralized central bank that balanced the competing interests of private banks and populist sentiment."
Source:Federal Reserve Education website, a product of the Federal Reserve
The cartoonist here implies that a politician can best be judged by examining the legislative record. How a legislator actually votes versus what is spoken to the public can result in embarrasing contradictions for some. It is the honest and upright legislator that has nothing to fear.
This cartoon presents a scene where corrupt machine politics, criminal trusts, and their corporate lawyers "defend" the Constitution from unseen attackers. The cartoonist may be arguing that these dishonest groups stand in the way of constitutional and legislative change. They keep the status quo in place, all while in the guise of American revolutionary patriots.
Printed the day before Easter in 1922, this cartoon depicts the U.S. Congress as a decorated egg displaying some of its more questionable recent accomplishments.
Naval disarmament was an international concern in the years following World War One. The mention of "navy slashing" in the cartoon may be referencing the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-1922 that gathered nine of the world's greatest powers together to seek a reduction in naval forces. Out of this conference three treaties were eventually agreed upon to reduce the naval capacity of the nations involved. 
Following the war there was also a concern over the continued economic prosperity of the United States. Europe's agricultural production and economic activity rebounded and the need for American exports was greatly reduced. As imports to the U.S. increased, Congress engaged in "tariff tinkering" by passing the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922. The act raised tariffs on European imports and was intended to favor American industry.
The cartoon also calls attention to the efforts of Congress to draft legislation providing additional compensation to World War One veterans. While Congress managed to pass a so-called "bonus" bill in 1922, it was deemed fiscally irresponsible by President Harding and vetoed. Additional veteran benefits would eventually be provided through the World War Adjusted Compensation Act passed in 1924.
 Office of the Historian: Department of the State. (2009). Milestones 1921-1936, The Washington Naval Conference 1921-1922. Retrieved from: < http://history.state.gov/milestones/1921-1936/NavalConference >
 Office of the Historian: Department of the State. (2009). Milestones 1921-1936, Protectionism in the Interwar Period. Retrieved from: < http://history.state.gov/milestones/1921-1936/Protectionism >
 Office of the Clerk: House of Representatives. (n.d.) Retrieved from: http://artandhistory.house.gov/highlights.aspx?action=view&intID=347
This cartoon calls attention to the inequality between the "common people" and those in charge, whether they be the wealthy or the powerful. These privileged individuals are made comfortable by their overall control of money and credit, court decisions and tariff policies that favor them, as well as a Congress that is concerned with maintaining this inequality.
Intended to end most " lame duck" sessions of Congress, the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed on March 2, 1932 and ratified on January 23, 1933. The major provision of the amendment entailed changing the start date of new sessions of Congress from March to January to more closely align with the election schedule. President at the time of the amendment's passage, Herbert Hoover is shown getting ready to attack the lame duck with this amendment.
Office of the Clerk, http://artandhistory.house.gov/highlights.aspx?action=view%26intID=140, (9/6/2012).
This cartoon calls attention to the often difficult working relationship between the President of the United States and members of Congress. Here, President Hoover is shown sending an angry Congress away after an apparent refusal to cooperate.