Urban Gov week 2 notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ariel Kamen on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to posc 305 at Towson University taught by James H. Glenn in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views.
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Date Created: 02/12/16
2/17/16 tics • Party machines typically hierarchal and disciplined, run by a boss. Controlled by a combination of ethnic identity and partisanship. Worked to mobilize voters, prospered because of independent and internal system of command, coordination and control • Corruption is part of machines …..not the sole feature • Help excluded get access to political system * Political machines organized like a pyramid • machines prospered during industrial age when ethnic communities divided society (melting pot? maybe not..) • between 18701945, 17 of 30 largest cities were ruled through a political boss, system peaks in 1945, last boss: Richard Daley in Chicago Ex: Boss Tweed; New York, NY Frank Hague; Jersey City, NJ Ed Cump; Memphis, TN Jim Curley; Boston, MA Huey Long; Louisiana Tom Pendergast; Kansas City, MO (only boss to have a president — Truman) • at Constitution Ratification only 5% adult white males could vote (minorities — no; women) • by mid 1800s neighborhood connections fit well with decentralized local government * Alcohol has always been important in politics • lots of immigrants from England, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Belgium • pubs become a key gathering place and source of information, many places bars are closed on election day • the (relative) lack of central government and formal rules meant that the ability to deliver votes …no formals skills required either and build alliances was critical, no formal job description • most machines engaged in some election corruption (in Chicago sometimes the dead vote) • the positive assertions of machines: 1. Centralized power and got things done 2. Offered upward mobility to immigrants 3. Assimilated immigrants into “American Way of Life” 1. Centralized Power and Getting Things Done • city government relied on numerous boards, commissions and departments usually had a weak mayor • this confused citizens, so many reformers streamlines city government • as cities grew (faster than rest of county) they improvised services: water systems, paved streets, public buildings • this leads to jobs • — Yes! would you bribe an official to get a contract? • growth assured that there was enough spoils to go around • responsibility also meant that regulatory agencies took bribes to “look the other way” • the explosion in services meant that the public got the goods they sought • research on machine and non machine cities show machines might not have made a difference • services were provided to a certain point • If the problem was eliminated, why would you need the machine? Corruption in Machines • power to the political machines sometimes led to fraud and graft • fraud: deliberate deception Ex: sometimes cheated to win elections by voting more than once • graft: using political influence for financial gain Ex: 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 2. Upward Mobility • evidence that machines help immigrants is mixed • Irish are a unique exceptions ….so are African Americans • Irish master machine politics before other groups and only include other ethnics with necessary • African Americans were largely not allowed to vote/participate 3. Assimilation • machines helped sponsor picnics, sports leagues, and youth clubs • immigrants often felt like outsiders; machines were an assimilation outlet • study of 20 bosses showed that 15 were 1st and 2nd generation immigrants and 13 never finished grammar school (no formal requirements) • machine leaders become symbols of success, realistically they knew the language, culture and what we need • machines encouraged ethnic divisions to ensure votes ……is that good? • often workers tried to placate immigrants problems instead of fixing them ….if you fixed the problem, do you need the machine? Have Machines Gone Away? • using New Haven; is this representative? • politically connected agencies still thriving • political spoils come from several areas: 1 municipal government; 2 probate court; 3 state government • activists and machines interested in different things — machine is interested in low profile jobs; activists are interested in high profile elections Patronage is Still King • patronage makes it easier to centralize party organization — resources are used to discipline and reward workers • patronage not necessarily controlled by the same people and factions can form • more patronage ….harder it is for one group to control….more factions form • political participation is driven by commitment to government activity and by commitment to certain politics • machine has morphed ….its real focus was personalizing government (is this bad?) • machines continue helping navigate government and despite a desire for reform and clean government, people do not mind when THEY ARE THE ONES BENEFITTING