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Tammy Hall Society - Essay Example

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The agenda of Tammany Hall Society quickly became to control New York City politics, thus the political machine was called Tammany Hall as both merged. The…
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Tammany Hall was a political machine of the Democratic Party in New York from the 1790’s through 1960’s. The agenda of Tammany Hall Society quickly became to control New York City politics, thus the political machine was called Tammany Hall as both merged. The placement of immigrants, many Irish, in the elected offices was their main goal. Tammany Hall was plagued with political corruption and graft in the 1800’s. After a Tammany Hall Mayor was forced from office in 1932, the group’s influence started to wan. Then anti-Tammany Republican Fiorello La Guardia was not only elected mayor, but reelected. President Franklin Roosevelt also withdrew federal support for Tammany. All of these actions weakened Tammany Hall. After a brief comeback in the 1950’s, Tammany Hall was destroyed by the Democrat Party’s resistance led by Eleanor Roosevelt. Tammany Hall no longer exists today.
Many well recognized historical figures from New York were associated with Tammany Hall, such as Aaron Burr. In the beginning, Tammany Hall wanted to involve themselves in politics in order to run their agendas. However as the society progressed, the more and more corrupt in became. Most New York elections were controlled by Tammany Hall after 1829 (Myers, 2005: 61). As opposition groups like the Loco-Focos became stronger, Tammany Hall started focusing on support from immigrants (Myers, 2005: 102). Immigration in New York has always been high. Thus an every changing group backed Tammany Hall. Immigrants came to America dirt poor, so Tammany Hall provided basic needs in return for their vote (Myers, 2005: 128-129). For example, a faster naturalization process was put in place by William M. Tweed by creating committees to pay fees, fill out forms, or get witnesses. The Judges had to grant citizenship because the Tammany Hall provided the immigrant with everything (Connable and Silberfarb, 1967:154). This started the political corruption and favors for votes.
There are many instances of grafting and political corruption within the time Tammany Hall had influenced, two instances will be examined; the Harlem gangs in the 1920’s and Judge Joseph Crater. The Harlem gangs were controlled by Dutch Schultz (Bell, 2009). What history has forgotten was James J. Hines, the Democratic Party boss located in Manhattan (Bell, 2009). In the 1920’s the Democratic Party bosses were affiliated with Tammany Hall, so James Hines must have been part of Tammany Hall. James Hines gave Schultz a tip on Harlem’s “number rackets profitability” (Bell, 2009). This led to Murder Incorporated mobsters Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Frank Costello, and Lucky Luciano to take over criminal enterprise. Without the Tammany Hall boss, the mobsters would not have known what was going on in Harlem.
Judge Joseph Crater was a member of Tammany Hall; in fact he was prolific worker for the cause. Judge Crater was appointed “receiver in foreclosure of the Libby Hotel” (Bryk, 2002). The American Mortgage Loan Company picked up the property for $75,000, and then was compensated $2,850,000 after the city condemned the building a mere two months later (Bryk, 2002). In July 1931, Crater found out “New York County District Attorney Thomas C.T. Crain was charging Healy with selling judgeships” (Bryk, 2002). He went into New York without his wife to disappear forever. Some speculate that he disappeared over the Healy case. Others felt “Crater had known Arnold Rothstein, the man believed to have fixed the 1919 World Series, and other criminals” (Bryk, 2002). Judge Crater has never been found, alive or dead. He could have ran away, or was the subject of foul play. Whatever the reason, Judge Crater was associated with Tammany Hall and corruption. This had to have something to do with his fate.
Tammany Hall was one of the most corrupt political machines in American history. Bootlegging, grafting, and other corruptions led to the demise of this political machine. After legitimate Democrats stood up to the group, Tammany Hall ceased to exist.
Bell, W. A. (2009). Black gangs of Harlem: 1920-1939. truTV: Crime Library. 27 July 2009.
Bryk, W. (2002). The missingest man in New York. New York Press. 25 June 2002.
Connable, A. and E. Silberfarb. (1967). Tigers of Tammany: Nine men who ran New York.
New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Myers, G. (2005). History of Tammany Hall. US: Scholarly Publishing Office, University of
Michigan Library. Read More
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