John Bull is a national personification of the United Kingdom in general and England in particular,especially in political cartoons and similar graphic works. He is usually depicted as a stout, middle-aged, country-dwelling, jolly and matter-of-fact man.
A national personification is an anthropomorphism of a nation or its people. It may appear in editorial cartoons and propaganda.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
John Bull originated as a satirical character created by Dr John Arbuthnot, a friend of Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope. Bull first appeared in 1712 in Arbuthnot's pamphlet Law is a Bottomless Pit.The same year Arbuthnot published a four-part political narrative The History of John Bull. In this satirical treatment of the War of the Spanish Succession John Bull brings a lawsuit against various figures intended to represent the kings of France (Louis Baboon) and Spain (Lord Strutt) as well as institutions both foreign and domestic.
John Arbuthnot FRS, often known simply as Dr Arbuthnot, was a Scottish physician, satirist and polymath in London. He is best remembered for his contributions to mathematics, his membership in the Scriblerus Club, and for inventing the figure of John Bull.
Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet. He is best known for his satirical verse, including Essay on Criticism, The Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad, and for his translation of Homer. He is the second-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare.
Originally derided, William Hogarth and other British writers made Bull "a heroic archetype of the freeborn Englishman."Later, the figure of Bull was disseminated overseas by illustrators and writers such as American cartoonist Thomas Nast and Irish writer George Bernard Shaw, author of John Bull's Other Island .
William Hogarth FRSA was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects", perhaps best known being his moral series A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".
The concept of an archetype appears in areas relating to behavior, historical psychological theory, and literary analysis. An archetype can be:
The rights of Englishmen are the perceived traditional rights of citizens of England. In the 18th century, some of the colonists who objected to British rule in the British colonies in North America argued that their traditional rights as Englishmen were being violated. The colonists wanted and expected the rights that they had previously enjoyed in England: a local, representative government, with regards to judicial matters and particularly with regards to taxation. Belief in these rights subsequently became a widely-accepted justification for the American Revolution.
Starting in the 1760s, Bull was portrayed as an Anglo-Saxon country dweller.He was almost always depicted in a buff-coloured waistcoat and a simple frock coat (in the past Navy blue, but more recently with the Union Jack colours). Britannia, or a lion, is sometimes used as an alternative in some editorial cartoons.
A waistcoat, or vest, is a sleeveless upper-body garment. It is usually worn over a dress shirt and necktie and below a coat as a part of most men's formal wear. It is also sported as the third piece in the traditional three-piece male lounge suit. Any given vest can be simple or ornate or for leisure or luxury. Historically, the vest can be worn either in the place of or underneath a larger coat dependent upon the weather, wearer, and setting.
A frock coat is a man's coat characterised by a knee-length skirt all around the base, popular during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The double-breasted styled frock coat is sometimes called a Prince Albert after Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria. The frock coat is a fitted, long-sleeved coat with a centre vent at the back, and some features unusual in post-Victorian dress. These include the reverse collar and lapels, where the outer edge of the lapel is cut from a separate piece of cloth from the main body, and also a high degree of waist suppression, where the coat's diameter round the waist is much less than round the chest. This is achieved by a high horizontal waist seam with side bodies, which are extra panels of fabric above the waist used to pull in the naturally cylindrical drape.
The Union Jack, or Union Flag, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. The flag also has official status in Canada, by parliamentary resolution, where it is known as the Royal Union Flag. Additionally, it is used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas territories. The Union Flag also appears in the canton of the flags of several nations and territories that are former British possessions or dominions, as well as the state flag of Hawaii.
As a literary figure, John Bull is well-intentioned, frustrated, full of common sense, and entirely of native country stock. Unlike Uncle Sam later, he is not a figure of authority but rather a yeoman who prefers his small beer and domestic peace, possessed of neither patriarchal power nor heroic defiance. John Arbuthnot provided him with a sister named Peg (Scotland), and a traditional adversary in Louis Baboon (the House of Bourbonin France). Peg continued in pictorial art beyond the 18th century, but the other figures associated with the original tableau dropped away. John Bull himself continued to frequently appear as a national symbol in posters and cartoons as late as World War I.
Uncle Sam is a common national personification of the American government or the United States in general that, according to legend, came into use during the War of 1812 and was supposedly named for Samuel Wilson. The actual origin is by a legend. Since the early 19th century, Uncle Sam has been a popular symbol of the US government in American culture and a manifestation of patriotic emotion. While the figure of Uncle Sam represents specifically the government, Columbia represents the United States as a nation.
A yeoman was a member of a social class in England and the United States. It is also a military term.
Small beer is a lager or ale that contains a lower amount of alcohol by volume (ABV) than other beers, typically between 0.5% to 2.8%. Sometimes unfiltered and porridge-like, it was a favored drink in Medieval Europe and colonial North America against more expensive beer with higher alcohol. Small beer was also produced in households for consumption by children and servants.
Bull is usually depicted as a stout man in a tailcoat with light-coloured breeches and a top hat which, by its shallow crown, indicates its middle class identity. During the Georgian period his waistcoat is red and/or his tailcoat is royal blue which, together with his buff or white breeches, can thus refer to a greater or lesser extent to the "blue and buff" scheme;this was used by supporters of Whig politics, which was part of what John Arbuthnot wished to deride when he created and designed the character. By the twentieth century, however, his waistcoat nearly always depicts a Union Flag, and his coat is generally dark blue. (Otherwise, however, his clothing still echoes the fashions of the Regency period.) He also wears a low topper (sometimes called a John Bull topper) on his head and is often accompanied by a bulldog. John Bull has been used in a variety of different ad campaigns over the years, and is a common sight in British editorial cartoons of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Singer David Bowie wore a coat in the style of Bull.
A tailcoat is a knee-length coat with the front of the skirt cut away, so as to leave only the rear section of the skirt, known as the tails.
Breeches are an article of clothing covering the body from the waist down, with separate coverings for each leg, usually stopping just below the knee, though in some cases reaching to the ankles. The breeches were normally closed and fastened about the leg, along its open seams at varied lengths, and to the knee, by either buttons or by a drawstring, or by one or more straps and buckle or brooches. Formerly a standard item of Western men's clothing, they had fallen out of use by the mid-19th century in favour of trousers. Modern athletic garments used for English riding and fencing, although called breeches or britches, differ from breeches in ways discussed below.
The Whigs were a political faction and then a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Between the 1680s and 1850s, they contested power with their rivals, the Tories. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute monarchy. The Whigs played a central role in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and were the standing enemies of the Stuart kings and pretenders, who were Roman Catholic. The Whigs took full control of the government in 1715 and remained totally dominant until King George III, coming to the throne in 1760, allowed Tories back in. The Whig Supremacy (1715–1760) was enabled by the Hanoverian succession of George I in 1714 and the failed Jacobite rising of 1715 by Tory rebels. The Whigs thoroughly purged the Tories from all major positions in government, the army, the Church of England, the legal profession and local offices. The Party's hold on power was so strong and durable, historians call the period from roughly 1714 to 1783 the age of the Whig Oligarchy. The first great leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government through the period 1721–1742 and whose protégé Henry Pelham led from 1743 to 1754.
Washington Irving described him in his chapter entitled "John Bull" from The Sketch Book:
The cartoon image of stolid, stocky, conservative and well-meaning John Bull, dressed like an English country squire, sometimes explicitly contrasted with the conventionalised scrawny, French revolutionary sans-culottes Jacobin, was developed from about 1790 by British satirical artists James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson and George Cruikshank. (An earlier national personification was Sir Roger de Coverley, from a 1711 edition of The Spectator.)
A more negative portrayal of John Bull occurred in the cartoons drawn by the Egyptian nationalist journalist Yaqub Sanu in his popular underground newspaper Abu-Naddara Zarqa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.Sanu's cartoons depicted John Bull as a coarse, ignorant drunken bully who pushed around ordinary Egyptians while stealing all the wealth of Egypt. Much of Sanu's humor revolved around John Bull's alcoholism, his crass rudeness, his ignorance about practically everything except alcohol, and his inability to properly speak French (the language of the Egyptian elite), which he hilariously mangled unlike the Egyptian characters who spoke proper French.
Increasingly through the early twentieth century, John Bull became seen as not particularly representative of "the common man," and during the First World War this function was largely taken over by the figure of Tommy Atkins.
John Bull's surname is also reminiscent of the alleged fondness of the English for beef, reflected in the French nickname for English people, les rosbifs, which translates as "the 'Roast Beefs.'" It is also reminiscent of the animal, and for that reason Bull is portrayed as "virile, strong, and stubborn," like a bull.
A typical John Bull Englishman is referenced in Margaret Fuller's Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 in Chapter 2: "Murray's travels I read, and was charmed by their accuracy and clear broad tone. He is the only Englishman that seems to have traversed these regions, as man, simply, not as John Bull."
In 1966, The Times , criticising the Unionist government of Northern Ireland, branded the region "John Bull's Political Slum."
In Jules Verne's novel The Mysterious Island a character calls some unseen adversaries "sons of John Bull!", which is explained with: "When Pencroft, being a Yankee, treated any one to the epithet of 'son of John Bull,' he considered he had reached the last limits of insult."In another of Verne's novels, Around the World in Eighty Days, an American colonel refers to the English protagonist as "a son of John Bull."
Some John Bull imagery appears in the first volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. John Bull is visible in the illustration accompanying the foreword, on a matchbox on the comic's first page and in person at the bottom of the final panel.
In the Japanese anime Hellsing Ultimate , Alucard refers to Walter, the Hellsing family butler, as "John Bull" on a few occasions, often in mockery.
In the Japanese anime Youjo Senki , the main character Tanya Degurechaff references soldiers from the Allied Kingdom (a fictitious analogue to the United Kingdom) as John Bulls.
In the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven , a character by the nickname of "English Bob" (played by Richard Harris) is derisively called "John Bull".
Abbas II Helmy Bey was the last Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, ruling from 8 January 1892 to 19 December 1914. In 1914, after the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in World War I, the nationalist Khedive was removed by the British, then ruling Egypt, in favor of his more pro-British uncle, Hussein Kamel, marking the de jure end of Egypt's four-century era as a province of the Ottoman Empire, which had begun in 1517.
Ḥeḥ was the personification of infinity or eternity in the Ogdoad in Egyptian mythology. His name originally meant "flood", referring to the watery chaos that the Egyptians believed existed before the creation of the world. The Egyptians envisioned this chaos as infinite, in contrast with the finite created world, so Heh personified this aspect of the primordial waters. Heh's female counterpart was known as Hauhet, which is simply the feminine form of his name.
An editorial cartoon, also known as a political cartoon, is a drawing containing a commentary expressing the artist's opinion. An artist who writes and draws such images is known as an editorial cartoonist. They typically combine artistic skill, hyperbole and satire in order to question authority and draw attention to corruption, political violence and other social ills.
Brother Jonathan is the personification of New England. He was also used as an emblem of the USA in general, and can be an allegory of capitalism. The epithet "Brother Jonathan" was originally one for the USA and not just New England, as described in Jonathan Trumbull's biography.
White tie, also called full evening dress or a dress suit, is the most formal in traditional evening Western dress codes. For men, it consists of a black dress tailcoat worn over a white starched shirt, marcella waistcoat and the eponymous white bow tie worn around a standing wingtip collar. High-waisted black trousers and patent leather oxford or optionally court shoes complete the outfit. Orders insignia and medals can be worn. Acceptable accessories include a top hat, white gloves, a white scarf, a pocket watch and a boutonnière. Women wear full length ball or evening gowns and, optionally, jewellery, tiaras, a small handbag and evening gloves.
Saad Zaghloul was an Egyptian revolutionary and statesman. He was the leader of Egypt's nationalist Wafd Party. He served as Prime Minister of Egypt from 26 January 1924 to 24 November 1924.
The 'Urabi revolt, also known as the 'Urabi Revolution, was a nationalist uprising in Egypt from 1879 to 1882. It was led by and named for Colonel Ahmed 'Urabi and sought to depose the Khedive Tewfik Pasha and end British and French influence over the country. Despite a French refusal to resort to arms and the pacifist proclamations of the Gladstone administration in Britain, the uprising was ended by a British bombardment of Alexandria and invasion of the country that left it under foreign control until after World War II.
Evelyn Baring, 1st Earl of Cromer, was a British statesman, diplomat and colonial administrator. He was British controller-general in Egypt during 1879, part of the international Control which oversaw Egyptian finances after the 1876 Egyptian bankruptcy. He later became the agent and consul-general in Egypt from 1883 to 1907 during the British occupation prompted by the 'Urabi revolt. This position gave Baring de facto control over Egyptian finances and governance.
Der Deutsche Michel is a figure representing the national character of the German people, rather as John Bull represents the English.
Johnny Canuck is a Canadian cartoon hero and superhero who was created as a political cartoon in 1869 and was later re-invented, most notably as a Second World War action hero in 1942. The Vancouver Canucks, a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL), currently use a lumberjack rendition of Johnny Canuck as one of their team logos.
Naji Salim Hussain al-Ali was a Palestinian cartoonist, noted for the political criticism of the Arab regimes and Israel in his works. He has been described as the greatest Palestinian cartoonist and probably the best-known cartoonist in the Arab world.
Buff is the pale orange-brown colour of the undyed leather of several animals.
Mustafa Kamil Pasha was an Egyptian lawyer, journalist, and nationalist activist.
Yaqub Sanu, was an Egyptian Jewish journalist, nationalist activist and playwright. He was also a polyglot, writing in French, English, Turkish, Persian, Hebrew, and Italian as well as both literary Arabic and Egyptian Arabic.
Mohammad Farid or Muhammad Farîd was an influential Egyptian political figure of Turkish ancestry. He was a nationalist leader, writer, and lawyer.
The black lounge suit (U.K.), stroller (U.S.), or Stresemann, is a men's day attire semi-formal intermediate of a formal morning dress and an informal lounge suit; comprising grey striped or checked formal trousers, but distinguished by a conventional-length lounge jacket, single- or double-breasted in black, midnight blue or grey. This makes it largely identical to the formal morning dress from which it is derived, only having exchanged the morning coat with a suit jacket, yet with equivalent options otherwise, such as necktie or bowtie for neckwear, a waistcoat, French cuffs dress shirt of optional collar type, and black dress shoes or dress boots. The correct hat would be a semi-formal homburg, bowler, or boater hat. Just as morning dress is considered the formal daytime equivalent of formal evening attire dress coat i e. white tie, so the stroller is considered the semi-formal daytime equivalent of the semi-formal evening attire dinner jacket i.e. black tie. Unlike other dress codes, there is no clear equivalent for women, though typical morning dress and cocktail dress have both been identified as alternatives.
The Egyptian Revolution of 1919 was a countrywide revolution against the British occupation of Egypt and Sudan. It was carried out by Egyptians from different walks of life in the wake of the British-ordered exile of the revolutionary Egyptian Nationalist leader Saad Zaghlul, and other members of the Wafd Party in 1919.
Hibernia as a national personification representing Ireland appeared in numerous cartoon and drawings, especially in the nineteenth century.
Egyptian nationalism is the nationalism of Egyptians and Egyptian culture. Egyptian nationalism has typically been a civic nationalism that has emphasized the unity of Egyptians regardless of ethnicity or religion. Egyptian nationalism first manifested itself in Pharaonism beginning in the 19th century that identified Egypt as being a unique and independent political unit in the world since the era of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt.