The Differences Between Local Governments And Political Machines

1258 Words6 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…show more content…
Political machines began to surface from 1870 -1940 due to a combination of social and political events that simultaneously occurred in the United States. In addition to the natural growth and increase in American citizens, more than 30 million immigrants came to the United States at this time, in which most of them poured into the cities. Industrial growth, the rise of big businesses, and new ways of transportation and distribution all contributed to the growth of cities. A new wave of politicians capitalized on these new social phenomena with the assistance of three main political changes during this period. First, the expansion of male suffrage coupled with the explosive growth of cities created a massive increase in electorate that politicians could profit from. Secondly, the expansion of city government and their necessary roles created opportunities for politicians to fill these roles and solve the arising problems of the rapidly expanding cities. Finally, the competitive nature of the elections served as an incentive for politicians to strategically organize themselves to garner votes in the most efficient and effective way possible. For a long time, political machines served as organizations that filed the necessary roles in an organized and efficient manner. While the patron client relationship was at the core of the relationship between the constituents and the committeemen, a complex and hierarchical organization
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