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The Great Rapprochement
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The Great Rapprochement
The Great Rapprochement describes a fundamental shift in the relationship between Great Britain and the United States in the late Nineteenth Century. In general, the social and political objectives of the two nations converged, while both recognized their shared history and democratic institutions. Significant changes in the both countries made the Great Rapprochement mutually beneficial as well. Great Britain came to value the United States as a democratic ally at a time when the balance of power in Europe was impacted by the rise of autocracies in Russia and Germany. The relationship would become even more important as the Boar Wars revealed the overextension of British power, and the Boxer Rebellion in China threatened to further complicate the balance of power in Europe. Changes in the United States also made the new relationship possible. The United States emerged from the Civil War as an industrial nation. As a result of the Spanish-American War, the nation became an imperial power, with new possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific, and centuries of Anglophobia declined. As the United States began to experience difficulties governing her new "possessions," American cartoonists made the connection between Uncle Sam's
The Great Rapprochement
The Great Rapprochement lithograph
problems and John Bull's problems in South Africa. Essentially, in a complex world of rising and declining powers, the two nations put aside their trouble history and instead came to appreciate their common goals and interests. Both nations had both male and female caricatures. Great Britain has John Bull and Brittania, while the United States was represented by Uncle Sam and Columbia. Images of rapprochement often used these caricatures.
 
A more detailed examination of this topic is planned for the future. In the meantime, this small collection of images is presented.
John Bull and Uncle Sam
Sheet Music: "John Bull and Uncle Sam" (1898)
Sheet Music: "That's What Uncle Sam and Johnny Bull Could Do" (1899)
Sheet Music: "That's What Uncle Sam and Johnny Bull Could Do" (1899)
"Hands Across The Sea,"Judge, June 11, 1898
"Hands Across The Sea,"Judge magazine, June 11, 1898. by Victor Gillam
"He's Getting a Big Boy Now," Judge, June 25, 1898
"He's Getting a Big Boy Now," Judge magazine, June 25, 1898, by Victor Gillam
"The New Giant Among Nations. Introduced by his Cousin, John Bull," Judge, July 9, 1898
"The New Giant Among Nations. Introduced by his Cousin, John Bull," Judge magazine, July 9, 1898, by Victor Gillam
"Misery Loves Company;--But They Hope Soon To Be Out of It.", Puck, March 20, 1901
"Misery Loves Company;--But They Hope Soon To Be Out of It.", Puck magazine, March 20, 1901, by Louis Dalrymple
       
 
During the Boxer Uprising in China (1898-1901), the United States and Great Britain were both members of the Eight-Nation Alliance (along with Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia). The Allies eventually defeated the Boxers and the Imperial Chinese Army, and then looted Beijing.
McKinley and Uncle Sam react to the Boxer Rebellion in China, Harper's, 1900
McKinley and Uncle Sam react to the Boxer Rebellion in China, Harper's magazine, 1900, by W.A. Rogers
Collier's Magazine cover featuring the Boxer Rebellion in China, 1900
Collier's Magazine cover featuring the Boxer Rebellion in China, 1900
Sheet Music: "United Nations" (1900)
Sheet Music: "United Nations" (1900)
   
 
The Second Boer War (1899-1902) was a costly victory for the British of Boer forces in South Africa. Awareness of the conflict among the people of the Unites States is evidenced in American popular culture. A Spanish-American War song, "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray," was revived and became a much bigger hit than it had been just two years before. It was again a hit when it was recorded several times as American boys went off to fight World War I in 1917.
Sheet Music: "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" (1900)
Sheet Music: "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" (1900)
Sheet Music: "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" (1900)
Sheet Music: "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" (1900)
Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" by Edison Male Quartet (1901)
sound Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" by Edison Male Quartet (1901)
"Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" by Conway's Band (1917)
sound "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" by Conway's Band (1917)

 

 

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sound "Good-Bye, Dolly Gray" by Broadway Quartet (1917)

Sheet Music: "The Battle of Spion Kop" (1900)
Sheet Music: "The Battle of Spion Kop" (1900)
       
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Last modified July 12, 2012