<Go back to the Topics Index results>

Complete Explanation:
A later, altered version of "The Pending Conflict" (no. 1863-10). Albeit more optimistic from the Northern point of view than its earlier couterpart, this version is equally critical of European abetment of the Confederate war effort and of the anti-Lincoln or pacifist movement in the North.

The artist has made significant changes in composition and details. The positions of the central figures are reversed so that the secessionist figure is on the left, wearing a belt marked "Secession. The States shall be sovereign!" He still tramples on the American flag and wields a club marked "British pirate steamers, Br[itish] Cannon, &c." Strewn about his feet are three broken clubs inscribed "Bermuda," "Fingal," and "alias Atlanta."

John Bull and Napoleon III of France watch from the background left. The former holds a bundle of clubs wrapped in a band labeled "Neutrality." The clubs are labeled "Steam Rams" and "Blockades" and "Runners."

The muscular figure representing the Union is now clearly the more dominant. He wears a belt labeled "Union. The people shall be sovereign!" and raises a club threatening Secession. With his other hand, he grasps a snake by the throat. In the background right, on the ocean, are three ships, two of which are aflame.

Website design © 2010 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2010 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com