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PP05Cities - City Life and Machine Politics Politics...

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Unformatted text preview: City Life and Machine Politics Politics Describe the problems created by the stunning pace at which American cities were growing. Why did urban reform prove slow and difficult in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives Lives Problems of City Life Problems Overcrowding Poverty Unsupervised Children Sanitation Epidemic Disease Pollution Fire Crime and Violence Overcrowding - Tenements Overcrowding Poverty Poverty "What squalor and degradation in habit these dens the health officer's know. . . .From midnight until far in the small hours of the morning the policeman's thundering rap on closed doors is heard. . . .In a room not thirteen feet either way slept twelve men and women, two or three in bunks set in a sort of alcove, the reset on the floor. . . .Most of the men were lodgers, who slept for five cents a spot." Source: Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives (1890). Children Children “Street Arabs” Sanitation Sanitation Epidemic Disease Disease Pollution Pollution Fire Fire Crime and Violence Violence City Government – Political Machines Machines Urban “Bosses” “Ward Heelers” Immigrants Graft and Corruption Social Services Political Machines - Tammany Hall Political Tweed Ring George Washington Plunkett William Reardon, Plunkett of Tammany Hall “Honest Graft” “If ever there’s a f ire in my neighborhood, I’m always the first one on the scene d ay or night, and the people who’ve been burned out of their apartment, I d on’t ask them whether their dese rving. I simply give them some money , and I give them a place to stay, and I give them some food to help them g et back on their feet, and of course my expectation is that they’ll repay m y help with loyalty to the Democratic Party machine on Election Day, whic h ensures that our people will stay in power.” Alternatives to the Machines? Alternatives Government and Charities “Good Government” Campaigns – Anglo­Saxon – “Deserving Poor” – Ex: “orphan trains” Reform Efforts Reform Pendleton Act, 1883 “Muckraking” Journalists – Attack on “Spoils System” – Civil Service Exams – Lincoln Steffans, Shame of the Cities – Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives ...
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