Corruption of City Government • With new problems of urbanization never had the role of city government been more important. • This importance gave local government officials quite a bit of power. The Political Machine • An unofficial city organization designed to keep a particular party or group in power usually headed by a single powerful “boss” who often held public office. • It operated on the Spoils System (patronage and kickback). • Immigrants were attracted to the political machine because they needed help getting their feet on the ground and the machine wanted their political support and vote. • People blamed immigrants for their success Graft • City Bosses and members of the political machine would use their position/job to gain profit. • This was a major source of income for the machine. The City Boss Ward Bosses Precinct Captains and Workers Tammany Hall • Notorious Boss William Tweed • Tammany Hall (the political club that ran NYC’s Democratic Party). • Use all kinds of Graft once in power of the cities treasury in 1870. - padded bills for construction projects and contracts with fake expenses and kept the extra money for themselves Thomas Nast • German immigrant journalist/political cartoonist. • Use his influence and cartoons to expose Tweed’s methods to public • Tweed would go to jail in 1873, but Tammany Hall would dominate NYC’s politics for another half century.