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How-to-read a political cartoon

Political cartoons are primary documents that can help us understand issues and attitudes of the past.

  • Cartoon 1: A case where 'voluntarism' seems to have failed
  • Cartoon 2: Liar
  • Cartoon 3: The Cloud
  • Cartoon 4: The Slave Market (Billy Hughes)

Look at these four cartoons from the First World War. They are all about Billy Hughes and the decisions that he was making as Prime Minister.

Select a cartoon to begin.

This is a past exhibition that was shown at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House during 2008. A travelling version is on show at the Museum and regional centres during 2009.

More information is available on the exhibitions page.