Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

Topics: Tammany Hall, New York City, Political machine Pages: 2 (631 words) Published: December 12, 2012
George Washington Plunkitt, was one of the powers of Tammany Hall in the late 19th century. Plunkitt was born in a shantytown called Nanny Goat Hill and died wealthy and renowned. Tammany Hall, the name of a civic society, controlled the Democratic Party in New York city. They knew how to get power and hold on to it by getting people to vote for their candidates. Political power leads to personal wealth. Tammany governed NY from 1854 to 1934. The New Deal reforms of welfare and public housing socialized the benefits that had come from the patrons of Tammany Hall. The `Introduction' by Arthur Mann is faulty. Mann claims "no room for machines" any good history book will tell how churches or other organizations controlled or influenced local municipal elections earlier. Ruling classes reflect the reality that the many can be influenced be the few through advertising or other propaganda. Most people in a church are influenced by their preacher, and those in a tavern can be influenced by an orator who tells them what they want to hear. The alternative is rule by an aristocracy or corporation through attorneys who act against the people to benefit the rulers. Professional politicians exist on state and federal level since Washington's time. Do they control the educational system to teach students to accept this and distrust challengers? The bias against Tammany Hall came from the wealthy gentry who were defeated by upstart who best served popular opinion. Tammany Hall educated millions of immigrants about representative government.

Plunkitt the politician introduced bills to create parks, the Washington Bridge, additions to the Museum of Natural History, and many important public improvements. Did Plunkitt's business benefit from this? Every public improvement benefits some business, directly or indirectly. Else we would have dirt roads and no sewers as in many rural areas today. The problem comes from unneeded improvements ("graft jobs") where tax...
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