The Political Machine - Big Walnut Local Schools

Chapter 7 section 3 Pgs 3474-234234
Consider the following changes that occurred in the United
States in the late 19th century:
 • Increases in immigration
 • Widespread industrialization
 • Improvements in agricultural technology
 What was one result of these developments during this
time period?
 A. the growth of large cities
 B. the decline of labor unions
 C. the spread of plantation agriculture
 D. the construction of interstate highways
 Period of Greed and self-
indulgence coined by Mark Twain
 Era marred by rise of political
machines and corruption
 Represented the growing gap
between the few rich people and
the many poor people
 A political machine is a power structure in rapidly
growing cities that had limited or insufficient
 Offered services and favors to voters and businesses in
exchange for political and financial support.
 Political Boss- controlled access to municipal jobs,
business licenses, and influenced the courts.
 Immigrants would help political bosses get re-elected
in exchange for assistance attaining citizenship.
City Bosscontrolled all the
political activity in
the city
Ward Boss-Secured vote
for city boss by doing
favors or providing
services for the poor.
Local Precinct workers
(Captains)- Gained support on a
city block or in a neighborhood
 Once a political machine got into office it would take
advantage of the opportunities for GRAFT…The illegal
use of political influence for personal gain
 Examples:
 Getting a city job for a “friend”
 Kickbacks
 Favors to allow illegal activity…on the take.
Until 1890 police forces were hired and fired by the
political bosses making it easy to get away with shady
 William Tweed…head of Tammany Hall
 Tammany Hall –New York City’s most powerful
and corrupt political machine.
 Ex. New York County Courthouse scandal
 Thomas Nast- political cartoonist that created
public awareness about the corruption in
Tammany Hall
 Patronage(spoils system)-giving govt. jobs to people
who assisted with getting a candidate elected.
 After Garfield’s assassination the Pendleton Service
Act was passes under Chester Arthur that made
appointments to federal jobs through a merit system
of performance and examination.
 Made public admin jobs more efficient and honest.
Rutherford B. Hayes
• President whose election ended Reconstruction and led to
the start of civil service reform.
James Garfield
• Ohioan who supported reform of Patronage, was elected
president, and was assassinated.
Chester A. Arthur
• Vice-President who took over after the above president was
killed. He became a reformer. Passed Pendleton C.S.A.
Grover Cleveland
• Only president to serve nonconsecutive terms.
He wanted to reduce tariffs.
Benjamin Harrison
• Won Presidential election with promise to
raise tariffs
• Received financial support from big businesses
 Why did political machine politics
become common in cities in the late
19th century?
 What government problems arose as a
result of patronage?
 What were the views of Grover
Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison on