Age of the Bosses Essay

This essay has a total of 455 words and 2 pages.

Age of the Bosses



As industrialization caused cites to grow in leaps and bounds, political bosses started to
take power. As the 19th Century came to a close, almost every sizable city had a political
boss, or at least had one rising to power. Tons of immigrants from every part of the world
began to pour into the major cities. Cities have had diversity in the past, but the huge
diversity of the American cities was unique. The only thing the new immigrants had in
common with each other was the dream of becoming rich and the poverty of their current
state. Unfortunately, so many different people with so little in common often left tension
between different groups on the edge of becoming violent outbreaks. The famous Tammany set
the example early on of how to broaden it's own appeal to people of all races and ethnic
groups. Not long after, the other bosses did the same. The bosses did much to clean up
some neighbors and prevent violence, but of course it always had the ulterior motive of
securing votes for their own power. Their corruption often lead to their downfall, such
as William Tweed, who died in 1878, penniless and imprisoned. On of the main power gaining
tools for the bosses was the ability to give employment to people. The people would sign
onto these payrolls even when padded, since any employment was better than no employment.
Another platform was the sale and regulation of liquor. Though becoming somewhat unpopular
among some Americans, Europeans were appealed by the bosses' support of liquor. Also
appealed were many middle class members of society who, though not needing financial aid,
did enjoy the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Many businesses also were dependent on
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