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Political Machines Impact Essay

How Significant was the Impact of Political Machines on Society? In the late 18th and early 19th century, a massive growth in american cities need for a stable government caused the development of what is now called a political machine. The impact of political machines caused a negative influence politically and socially. Cities in the 19th century were defectively arranged in the public’s worst interest. The poor arrangement of government was in result of migration from rural areas (“Political Bosses”).

The massive influx of immigrants resulted in failure to provide services of help for members of society, which led to the evelopment of political machines (“Political Bosses”). Political machines were generally consisted of a county committee, a ward who mobilized industry, and a party of loyalist who obtained financial and political support (“Political Bosses”). A political machine was known was a single person or boss, who held large amounts of power to control cities or states socially and politically (“Political Bosses”).

Mass corruption made by political machines resulted in many citizens and immigrants bribed for votes (“Political Bosses”). For example, non-existent and dead people voted in chicago during many elections (“How Did the City Political machines during the Industrial Revolution Affect Society and the People? “). The motivation for many society members was welfare from the machines such as protection, housing, and jobs (“How Did the City Political machines during the Industrial Revolution Affect Society and the People? “) . The analogy of the process was a game of monopoly (“Sullivan, Kathleen”).

Every Time the citizen passes “go” the reward would be given (“Sullivan, Kathleen”). One of the most famous political machines, known as Boss Tweed, was the leader of Tammany Hall in New York (“Sullivan, Kathleen”). Tammany Hall was seldomly dominated by a singular boss. (“The World’s Favorite Online Dictionary! “). Tweed was also associated with George Plunkitt, who was also a boss at Tammany Hall. Tammany Hall was a political organization that was associated with the democratic party in New York in the late 1800’s, that sought political control by patronage and corruption (“Tammany Hall”).

Workers below the bosses were called precinct captains, who were Tweed’s and Plunkitt’s workhorses. Eventually, Boss Tweed was convicted of fraud and extortions because of his actions that occurred in Tammany Hall “Lowe, Jason”). Political machines were so influential to society because they provided a stability for people willing to vote or do an action on their behalf ( “Sullivan, Kathleen”). Many political machines built schools, such as such as Carnegie. Political machines during this time encouraged manufacturing and and mobilization of industry ( “Sullivan, Kathleen”).

Almost all political machines provide jobs in exchange for votes or other actions. In a party called the loyalist, many individuals obtained jobs on behalf of many machines ( “Sullivan, Kathleen”). In Exchange for jobs, ndividuals were expected to give back at least ten percent of their salary back to the organization. During many elections, they also were expected to campaign in their boss’s favor( “Sullivan, Kathleen”). Immigrants were especially victims to this, because they often included their friends in this process (“Political Machines”).

Other individuals were also provided with police protection, but this was a very rare reward (“Sullivan, Kathleen”). The appealingness of Political machines was mostly to immigrants, who were struggling to find jobs in large cities, such as New York (“Lowe, Jason”). Immigrants were willing to do any job generally for less payment because they were so desperate for a job (“Lowe, Jason”). For twelve years, Boss Tweed reigned over New York and gave generously during the winter (“Lowe, Jason”). This generosity consisted of turkeys on Christmas and coal given in the winter (“Corruption Runs Wilds”).

Rewards such as these were only given to the supporters (“Corruption Runs Wilds”) . Many individuals saw political machines was heros because they “got the job done” for the government through patronage (“Corruption Runs Wilds”). Patronage was a system of benefits that included jobs, rotections, and money in exchange for political support for the boss, even if the individual did not agree with the viewpoint of the boss (“Ehrenhal, Alan”). Patronage offered many opportunities such as vocational classes, english lessons, child care, health care, and nutrition to many, who could not afford these luxury charms (“Ehrenhal, Alan”).

This mostly benefited the middle class and created new professional opportunities in social work (“Ehrenhal, Alan”). Clearly, which was a system that many bosses used, which took advantage of many poor people, who were unable to support themselves without support from he bosses (“Ehrenhal, Alan”). Although there were many strategies of bosses there were three main strategies. The three strategies were grafts, patronage, and kickbacks (“Lowe, Jason”). Many bosses, who were power enthusiasts, used grafts. Grafts were the illegal use of political influence only for personal enrichment (“Lowe, Jason”).

There were two different kinds of grafts during this time and they were called honest and dishonest grafts (“Dishonest and Honest Graft”). Honest grafts were seeing opportunities and taking them, which differed from dishonest graft, which involved blackmailing, saloon keepers, nd disorderly people, who were involved for only personal benefit (“Dishonest and Honest Graft”). Another strategy was patronage, which as explained in the earlier paragraph, was an act of benefits of money, jobs, or police protections in exchange for political support, which included voting (“Ehrenhal, Alan”).

Finally, the strategy of kickbacks, which was the illegal practice of employing workers by contract to overcharge the city or state for the certain service that was requested of them (“Ehrenhal, Alan”). The overpayment would then be divided between the city boss and contract worker. “Lowe, Jason”). Eventually, these strategies created a social divide between workers in good standing with the boss and workers, who were not supportive of this (“Lowe, Jason”).

If the worker refused the work would mostly likely lose their home, job, and source of income (“Lowe, Jason”). Political machines negatively impacted the society through these strategies (“Lowe, Jason”). In 1900, political machines declined because of the progressive era, which was a positive shift in history (“political machines”). Patronage was replaced by civil service merit systems to avoid nother era with political machines (“political machines”). Once this was enacted, the control of government by political machines decreased massively (“political machines”).

The nominations of powerful political machines also decreased because of the lack of rewards that individuals could already obtain through the civil service merit system or jobs they possessed (“political machines”). Once the 1960’s approached, the number of political machines decreased to very few (“political machines”). Political machines such as Boss Tweed convicted over one hundred and twenty counts of fraud and extortion. After being charged, Boss Tweed was sentenced to twelve years in jail. After only one year in jail, Tweed escaped to Spain (“political machines”).

Eventually, Tweed was caught and put back in jail and died in 1878 (“Lowe, Jason”). A cartoonist named Thomas Nast created a form of yellow journalism that exposed Boss Tweed (“Corruption Runs Wild”). Attorney Samuel Tilden convinced Tweed to end his tyranny in 1876 (“Corruption Runs Wild”). Although the progressive era decreased the amount of political machines in large states, there are still some around today. There similarity of strategies consist of still offering ayment in exchange for political support. The difference is that patronage no longer consists of rewards being housing or jobs.

The true reward today is social status and money. Another example of dealings with political machines is the suggested backdoor deal between Obama and Exelon (“The Washington Post”). The deal is thought to have been about nuclear power (“The Washington Post”). Although Exelon and former president Obama denied the allegations, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton suggests otherwise (“The Washington Post”). There are also allegations that Hillary Clinton made a backroom deal for er spot as secretary of state during Obama’s term as president (“The Washington Post”).

This is another example of political machinery today. The motivations are different, but the type of people are the same (“The Washington Post”). However, this has also been limited over the progressing years and is still being limited today. Overall, the impact of political machines caused a negative influence politically and socially on society. Through the different strategies of bosses, their many rewards for supporters, and their earnings for themselves, the total system was corrupt.

Political machines supported the government hen the government was unable, however; this eventually corrupted the society economically, socially, and politically. The progressive era restored this panic and allowed for government support to finally stabilize. This limited the power of the boss, patronage, and allowed immigrants to still find jobs. Although the fight against political machines still happens today, the progressive era implementing the civil service merit, strongly influenced the society for individuals and industries for the better. Unfortunately, the overall impact of political machinery has left a mark on history.

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