Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Democratic-Republican Societies

A Peep into the Antifederal Club (1793)

A political cartoon satirizing the Democrtatic-Republican societies of the time.

A political cartoon of the era satirizing the political viewpoint of the Democratic-Republican societies. (Library Company of Philadelphia)

Library Company of Philadelphia

This political cartoon satirizes the Democratic-Republican clubs that had sprung up across the country in the late eighteenth century. The image shows Thomas Jefferson (atop table), who would have been secretary of state at the time, speaking to a body of controversial and debased figures of the era, including Edmund Genet (in the right of the image, standing below the African American man), the French ambassador who attempted to get the United States involved in the wars of the French Revolution. Also caricatured is David Rittenhouse, gazing at the rules of the Democratic Society through a telescope. The image attempts to demonstrate that Democratic-Republican clubs were bodies of people who advocated for radical democracy and mob rule.

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