1892 Election - Painting

 1892 Election - Painting

Lost Bet, by John Klir, depicts the outcome of the1892 election between Harrison and Cleveland. In the spirit of public humiliation -- a common phenomenon in the 19th century -- the loser pulls his victorious opponent down the city streets. Note the ethnic, race, and class diversity of the crowd of onlookers. The urban landscape brought many groups into contact with one another. (Library of Congress)

Thought Questions

  1. What does this painting tell you about the nature of politics in the late 19th century?
  2. Which appeared to be more important, form or substance?
  3. How does the ethnic makeup of the onlookers reflect the changes taking place in U.S. society?


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