By: John Groth
Original Size: 11.5 x 20.75 inches (29.2 x 52.7 cm)
This is a fine print reproduction of a provocative pictorial map by the Chicagoan illustrator John Groth. It is an acrid denunciation of events and politics in South America, just before the start of WWII. The map was published in an anti-fascist journal and designed with the purpose of illustrating the spread of fascism in South America in the early part of the 20th century.
The primary antagonists depicted are German, Japanese and Italian businessmen, whose actions and activities comprised a direct challenge to the position of the US government as set out in the provisions of the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. Groth depicted the businessmen as ‘fascist mobsters’ who had ‘muscled in’, positioning themselves to make commercial, cultural and military inroads for themselves and their respective governments in South America.
The Monroe Doctrine states explicitly that (1) the United States would not interfere in the internal affairs of or the wars between European powers; (2) the United States recognized and would not interfere with existing colonies and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere; (3) the Western Hemisphere was closed to future colonization; and (4) any attempt by a European power to oppress or control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be viewed as a hostile act against the United States. The fourth statement is the focal point of Groth’s map, with South America depicted as being under siege on all sides, by land, by sea and by air.