Comic Map of Europe in 1870

by samanthakh ~ April 4th, 2010. Filed under: Chapter 20: The Consolidation of Nation States, Uncategorized.

*More on the ‘Carte drôlatique d’Europe pour 1870

“Satirical political cartoon map of Europe showing countries personified in caricature and alluding to the tensions that finally erupted as the Franco-Prussian War in July 1870.  In the center, a buffoonish Prussia interacts with its suspicious neighbors.  England is depicted as an old woman holding its dog, Ireland, by a leash.  Spain and Turkey are portrayed as unconcerned women on the fringes relaxing with a cigarette and a hookah respectively.  Corsica and Sardinia become an impish figure mooning the viewer.  A rifle with a bayonet near the bottom edge is sardonically labeled “Degrees of Longitude.” The various tensions and rivalries between the nations are described in the caption:

‘England enraged forgets Ireland but still keeps it in her power.  Spain & Portugal smoke away lazily.  France tries to overthrow Prussia who advances one hand on Holland & knee over Austria.  Italy advises Bismark to keep off. Corsica & Sardinia laugh on at all.  Denmark hopes to recover Holstein.  Turkey is drowsily awaking from smoke.  Sweden crouching like a panther.  Russia a beggar trying for anything to fill his basket.’

Although the artist is not credited on this version, this is apparently a derivative of another version of Hadol’s map published in Paris by Vallée as Nouvelle carte d’Europe dressée pour 1870 [New Map of Europe Drawn for 1870].  Evidently, Europeans everywhere were in on the joke, because Dutch, German and British publishers also issued it.  The version produced by the London publisher H.C. Panzer provided commentary below the image that offers a more pointedly political explanation:

‘In the above “New Map” a Frenchman typifies in broad colours his conceptions of National characteristics.  The form of each country is given in outline, and a human figure made out of each.  Thus England is an old lady, Scotland her mob-cap, and Ireland a rebellious lap-dog snarling in her face, and angrily trying to break away from her chain.   Spain is a fat lady lying on her back, smoking a cigarette, and nearly smothering the small soldier, Portugal, by her weight. Prussia is an unwieldy military monster, half-smothered in his own helmet, but kneeling on an attentuated and sleeping soldier in undress, Austria, while France, as a fierce Zouave, aims a blow at his heart. Prussia’s right hand covers Belgium, his left Austria, while Denmark, a small soldier, swaggers with head erect. Russia is a Rag-collector, whose coat is patched, “Crimea” being written on the piece sewn on last. Switzerland is a closed cottage; Turkey in Europe an Oriental crushed by the superincumbent pressure of the other countries; Turkey in Asia a girl smoking a hookah; while Norway and Sweden are turned into a ferocious panther.’

Paul Hadol (who also used the pseudonym “White”) was an illustrator, draftsman and prolific caricaturist during the golden age of caricature illustration in mid-19th-century France.  He produced artwork for periodicals such as Gaulois, Journal Amusant, l’High Life, Charivari, Monde Comique, Vie  Parisienne and Eclipse.  He illustrated novels, theater posters, and humorous series under such titles as Actualités [Actualities] and Mon Musée des Souverains [My Museum of Sovereigns], which portrayed historic kings and queens.  During the 1870 war he published La Ménagerie Impériale.  Under his pseudonym, White, he published a series of caricatures for Mailly and Baillard.”

-Taken from here.

1 Response to Comic Map of Europe in 1870

  1. mattrunner

    • Prussia, made to look like its walrus-bearded ‘Iron Chancellor’ Otto von Bismarck, is haranguing its neighbours: kneeling on Austria, a sleeping soldier in undress; covering the Netherlands with its right hand.
    • France, dressed as a fierce zouave soldier, is aiming a bayonet at the heart of the unwieldy Prussian military monster.
    • Belgium, too small to be anthropomorphised, is being squeezed between France and Prussia (which would become its familiar, if uncomfortable lot in the First and Second World Wars).
    • England is an old woman, struggling with Ireland, her rebellious lapdog on a leash (although it looks more like a small bear); Scotland is the old lady’s mobcap.
    • Spain is a rotund senorita, smoking the day away while lying on her back and thus nearly crushing the small Portuguese soldier under her.
    • Corsica and Sardinia are joined to show a leprechaun-like figure gleefully mooning the map-reader.
    • Italy, possibly made to look like the great national leader Garibaldi, is holding off pressure from Prussia.
    • Denmark is a small, swaggering soldier, no doubt hoping to recover Holstein, the territory it lost to Prussia in a war a few years earlier.
    • Norway and Sweden are together turned into a ferocious dog.
    • Switzerland is a closed cottage.
    • Turkey in Europe is “an Oriental crushed by the superincumbent pressure of the other countries”.
    • Turkey in Asia is a girl smoking a hookah pipe.
    • Russia is a rag-collector in a patched coat, ‘Crimea’ written on the patch sewn on last.

    Source: “History Slideshow”. 21/4/2010 .