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Adam Reed Dr. Renwick Corruption in Politics March 7, 2005 Paper #2 The political machine system was a system designed to facilitate patron-client relationships. The system had both positive and negative effects on the societies that adopted it. People who benefited from the system referred to it as the “organization system.” On the other hand, the people who were not helped by the system referred to it as the “machine system.” The system was, above all, corrupt. However, as one of the systems’ names suggests, it offered organization. The balance between corruption and organization was often uneven. This is when the system became a problem. Most of the places where the machine system was able to be successful were in dire need of organization. This is one of the reasons it was so easily accepted. The other reason it was so easily accepted was because on the surface, the system seemed to support the everyday man. It offered many jobs, money, and even education to people who normally would receive nothing. As with most systems, they seem beneficial at first. Without a system of checks and balances, however, than can become overwhelmingly powerful. The surface appearance of being helpful to their community is a very real thing. The system does offer opportunities to people that would otherwise be left out. One example of this was after WW2 in Chicago. The Irish immigrants were originally discriminated against because they were Catholic. However, the political bosses saw the plight of the Irish as a political advantage. Bosses would take Irish off the boat and put 1
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them into voting booths. This had two significant outcomes. First of all, it gave these new immigrants tremendous political power. Second, it gave politicians a huge voter base. This political power allowed the immigrants to move ahead in society, something that would not have been offered before. They were given jobs and allotted government contracts. New jobs and guaranteed contracts gave these immigrants the resources to provide education for future generations. This education then led them to seek more professional jobs. Indirectly, the patron-client relationship that was created between
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course POLS X134 taught by Professor Renwick during the Winter '05 term at Loyola New Orleans.

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