2013 whose the_boss


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political machines

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2013 whose the_boss

  1. 1. Cities During Industrialization • Business and industrialization centered on the cities. The increasing number of factories created a need for labor, convincing people in rural areas to move to the city, and drawing immigrants from Europe to the United States. As a result, the United States transformed from a farming to an urban nation.
  2. 2. Immigration • Roughly 10 million European immigrants settled in the U.S. between 1860 and 1890. • The transition to American life was difficult for immigrants. They lived in dirty, crowded conditions in tenements. Tenements had few windows, limited plumbing and electricity, and tiny rooms often packed with people. People living in the tenements experienced disease, high infant mortality, and high levels of pollution. • Immigrants, also faced discrimination in the workplace from native workers who resented the immigrants’ willingness to accept lower wages and work in worse conditions.
  3. 3. Why did Political Bosses Emerge? Chicago, 1890 • Populations in major cities such as New York and Philadelphia doubled, and in the case of Chicago quadrupled, due to the migration of farmers and immigrants. • Municipal (city) governments were unprepared to handle the population growth of cities. Many city governments took a laissez-faire (hands-off) approach. For example, systems for sanitation, sewer, roads, etc. were not built for populations that large. • Political bosses took advantage of the situation for their own political gain.
  4. 4. Political Machines • Local politics during this era were marked by “machine politics”, because the system and the party, rather than individuals, held power. • In virtually every region of the U.S., local officials, or “machines,” bribed people, especially immigrants, for votes by providing political and economic benefits such as offices, jobs, and city contracts. • “Machines” were presided over by “party bosses,” professional politicians who dominated city government. These bosses often controlled the jobs of thousands of city workers and influenced the activities of schools, hospitals, and other city-run services. • Machine politics thrived on corruption, which contributed to the system’s collapse around the turn of the twentieth century.
  5. 5. Political Machines (cont) • In U.S. politics, a political organization that controls enough votes to maintain political and administrative control of its community. • The rapid growth of cities in the 19th century created huge problems for city governments, which were often poorly organized and unable to provide services. • Enterprising politicians were able to win support by offering favors, including patronage jobs and housing, (BETTERING URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE) in exchange for votes. • Though machines often helped to restructure city governments to the benefit of their constituents, they just as often resulted in poorer service corruption and aggravation of racial or ethnic hostilities. • Poor service occurred when jobs were given out as political rewards. Corruption occurred when contracts or concessions were awarded in return for kickbacks. Racial issues occurred when the machine did not reflect the city's diversity. • Reforms, suburban flight, and a more mobile population with fewer ties to city neighborhoods have weakened machine politics.
  6. 6. Operations of Political Machines Primary Source • "What tells in holdin' your grip on your district is to go right down among the poor families and help them in the different ways they need help. I've got a regular system for this. If there's a fire in Ninth, Tenth, or Eleventh Avenue, for example, any hour of the day or night, I'm usually there with some of my election district captains as soon as the fire engines. If a family is burned out, I don't ask whether they are Republicans or Democrats, and I don't refer them to the Charity Organization Society, which would investigate their case in a month or two and decide they were worthy of help about the time they are dead from starvation. I just get quarters for them, buy clothes for them if their clothes were burned up, and fix them up till they get things runnin' again. It's philanthropy, but it's politics, too – mighty good politics. Who can tell how many votes one of these fires bring me? The poor are the most grateful people in the world, and, let me tell you, they have more friends in their neighborhoods than the rich have in theirs.” - George Washington Plunkitt
  7. 7. Example of a Political Machine
  8. 8. Tammany Hall, located at Fourth Avenue and East 17th Street in New York City, ca. 1943.
  9. 9. Tammany Hall • Tammany Hall was the name given to the Democratic political machine that dominated New York City politics from the 1854 through the election of LaGuardia in 1934. • The Tammany Society of New York City was founded in 1786 as a fraternal organization whose primary activities were social. By 1798, however, the society's activities had grown increasingly politicized. Eventually Tammany emerged as the central supporter of Jeffersonian policies in the city of New York.
  10. 10. Tammany Hall (cont.) • Throughout the 1830s and 1840s, the society expanded its political control even further by earning the loyalty of the city's ever-expanding immigrant community. • The society helped newly arrived foreigners obtain jobs, find a place to live, and even earn citizenship so that they could vote for Tammany candidates in city and state elections. • William M. "Boss" Tweed was a famous political boss of Tammany Hall. His corrupt reign led to an attempt at reform in the early 1870s.
  11. 11. Thomas Nast was the most important political cartoonist in 19th-century America, known for exposing government corruption.
  12. 12. The ‘Brains.’ The Boss. -‘Well, what are you going to do about it?’” Harper’s Weekly, October 21, 1871, page 992. Taken from http://www.lib.ohio-state.edu/cgaweb/nast/keller
  13. 13. Positive Aspects of Political Bosses • Political bosses ran a “welfare state” for urban poor. They helped the unemployed find jobs, provided food and coal to widows, and organized entertainment in neighborhoods. All of these items were contingent upon the poor voting for the political machine’s candidate. • Who benefited? • • • Immigrants, working poor Political bosses gained political power Those given jobs for votes • Improvements in Infrastructure • • • Public Libraries- world’s largest in Boston Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park- New York City 660 miles of water lines; 464 miles of sewer lines; 1,800 miles of paved streets
  14. 14. Why don’t we have Political Bosses today? • No place for them in cities that are more organized and well planned out to handle large populations. • No huge waves of immigrants all at one time.
  15. 15. Assignment • You will now create a political machine campaign ad. Follow the instructions on the paper you have about this assignment. • When you complete your assignment, you will submit it through edmodo.com or turn into your folder. This assignment will need to be submitted by Friday.