Presentation on theme: "Politics in the Gilded Age What contributes to the rise of the “political machine”?"— Presentation transcript:
Politics in the Gilded Age What contributes to the rise of the “political machine”?
The Political Machine 1) Citizens feel local govt doesn’t provide enough jobs, financial aid, protection, sanitation, etc. 2) Political Machines take over a political party and run city, give their friends jobs in the city 3) Political Machine provides services and business in exchange for votes (for their candidates) and money 4) Political Machines take over Baltimore, NY, Chicago, San Francisco and other major cities
precinct captains precinct workers ward bosses city boss - Political Machines organized like a pyramid
Immigrants and the Political Machine - Constituents (voters) are often immigrants - Bosses and precinct captains often 1st or 2nd generation immigrants themselves - Knew the language, culture, and what was needed
Corruption in the Machines - Power of the political machines sometimes led to fraud and graft -Fraud: deliberate deception. -Graft :using political influence for financial gain Ex: Bribes - businesses offered money to get city contracts Ex: Kickbacks - when city paid companies they “kicked-back” some of the money to the official who gave them the job Ex: sometimes cheated to win elections by voting more than once
William M. Tweed “Boss Tweed” -City Boss of Tammany Hall, the powerful Democratic Political Machine in New York -Estimated Tweed stole up to $300 million -Eventually indicted on 120 counts of fraud and extortion but escaped to Spain while waiting for trial -Led ring of corrupt politicians who defrauded New York City 1860s & 70s
Reform Movement: Civil Service Act Reformers want a system by which the most qualified are hired for gov’t jobs, people to take civil service exam for govt jobs President Hayes appoints commission to investigate “pol. machines” NY boss Roscoe Conklin & his Stalwart supporters upset at Hayes Hayes doesn’t run for re-election – James Garfield is Republican candidate, promises more reforms but chooses Chester Arthur as VP Arthur is a Conklin supporter – 7/2/1881: Garfield is assassinated But Arthur becomes reformer – puts Civil Service law into effect