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Unity Through History: The Impact of the "Join or Die" Cartoon
Episode 984th March 2024 • Talk With History • Scott and Jenn of Walk with History - The History Inspired World Travelers
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This episode of Talk with History, hosted by Scott, focuses on the historical significance of the Join or Die cartoon, created by Benjamin Franklin in 1754, amidst growing unrest in the American colonies. The cartoon, featuring a segmented snake representing the colonies, served as a powerful call to unity and action, emphasizing that disunity equates to weakness.

Beyond revisiting this pivotal moment, the episode announces the launch of HistoryOrDie.org, a new initiative to foster a community of history creators and enthusiasts.

This site is designed to aggregate high-quality, unbiased historical content and support creators through community building and merchandise sales, reflecting the host's dedication to promoting unity and collaboration, drawing from his experience as a Navy officer.

HistoryOrDie.org

00:00 Introduction and Announcements

00:44 Journey Back to 1754: The Unrest in American Colonies

00:58 The Birth of a Powerful Symbol: The Join or Die Cartoon

02:14 The Impact and Legacy of the Join or Die Cartoon

03:04 Introducing HistoryOrDie.org: A New Initiative

03:49 The Vision and Mission of HistoryOrDie.org

04:35 Supporting the Community and Wrapping Up

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Transcripts

Scott:

Welcome to Talk with History.

Scott:

I'm your host, Scott, and today I have a special story and

Scott:

some announcements for you.

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We have been hard at work on our hundredth podcast episode coming up, and we have

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hoped to have a very special guest on for it, so make sure you're following

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us in your podcast player of choice.

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And stick around after this short story as we have an announcement

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that is sure to excite all of those history fans out there.

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Today we're taking a trip back to 1754, a time of unrest in the American colonies.

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Threats from abroad and rising tensions between the colonies themselves created

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a climate of fear and uncertainty.

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But in this critical moment, a powerful image emerged that would rally the

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colonists and serve as a potent symbol of unity, a join or die political cartoon.

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This wasn't your typical comic strip.

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The brainchild of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of

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America, the join or die cartoon with a woodcut image depicting a snake

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severed into eight distinct pieces.

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Each piece represented a single colony, fragmented and vulnerable.

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But below the snake, a chilling message loomed.

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In bold letters, join or die.

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The message was clear.

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Disunity met weakness, and only through a united front could the colonies

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survive the challenges they faced.

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Franklin, a master printer.

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The author himself published the cartoon in his Pennsylvania

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Gazette on May 9th, 1754.

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It quickly spread throughout the colonies, appearing in newspapers and pamphlets.

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The Join or Die cartoons struck a chord with the colonists.

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The image of a helpless snake resonated with the anxieties

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about their own fragile state.

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The stark message of unity served as a call to action, urging them

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to put aside their differences and work together for the common good.

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The impact of the Join or Die cartoon extended Far beyond its

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initial publication, throughout American history, the image has

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been reused and reinterpreted.

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A constant reminder of the importance of unity in times of crisis.

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From the fight for independence to the Civil War, the join or die

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message has served as a rallying cry for those who believe in a

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stronger, more unified country.

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Even today, the image continues to spark conversation, reminding us of

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the power of collective action and the importance of working together to build a

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better future.

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We just heard a story about the history of the now famous join or die

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cartoon from 1754, a call to action that unity is essential to survival.

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This call of unification inspired a movement we recently started

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in 2024, and that is the website.

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HistoryOrDie.

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org.

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With almost unlimited information at the fingertips of every person on the planet,

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it is more important than ever to learn, understand, and talk about history.

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True, unbiased, and well researched history.

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As the saying goes, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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We are building a place where people can now find the Internet's best.

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Best history creators, and that is history or die.org.

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There are already some amazing history content creators there and

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more that are joining by the day.

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And you may ask yourself, why are we doing this?

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Well, we believe that a rising tide lifts all ships and

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history or die can be that tide.

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As a 20 year officer in the Navy, I joke with Jen that I might not

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know history better than her, but I do know how to bring people

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together and build those people up.

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The highlight of my Navy career is always seeing my sailors succeed and thrive,

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and that's what I'm hoping to do for History Creators with this new initiative.

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So often, people ask us about other History Creators.

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or good content to look for, and it can be tough to remember them all.

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Well, now you, or anybody else, can say go to historyordie.

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org.

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The internet's best history creators, all in one spot.

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Any support provided to the site through merchandise purchases will go

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right back to building the community and promoting these amazing creators.

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I hope you enjoy the community we have there at History or Die.

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Thank you.

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And as always, we rely on you, our community to grow, and we

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appreciate you all every day.

Scott:

We'll talk to you next time.

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