The Differences Between Local Governments And Political Machines

1258 Words Mar 9th, 2016 6 Pages
As urban populations grew rapidly during the late nineteenth century, political machines become a mechanism to deal with the problems and new challenges that the cities encountered. The increased population required more solutions to solve problems regarding the distribution of resources as well as public services. In many ways, the political machines provided solutions to individuals in urban cities, but it was only done in exchange for votes and did not solve collective problems the cities faced. Reformers who wanted to change the inadequate and corrupt governments that existed in cities attempted to do so by recreating the rules and structure of local governments. The tension that rose from this transition represented both the distinct political views and social classes that reformers and political machine embodied. The clash amongst the two types of local governments represents the struggle for power amongst different socioeconomic groups that continues to prevail in cities today.
Political machines were organizations that mobilized voters to win elections in exchange for tangible and divisible goods. The machines were well-structured organizations held together by ethnic identity, partisan loyalty, and individual patronage. It included varied degrees of hierarchy that all cooperated for the sake of the shared power. In an effort to garner votes and maintain power, the machines operated to gain the least votes necessary to win by adhering to individual needs of the…
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