Political machines of fraud and bribery Introduction: Lincoln Steffens published the “shame of the cities” witch was a book based on the corruption in the 1900’s. By 1900, many cities in the south of America were controlled by political machines. These organizations consisted of full-time politicians whose main goal was to get and keep politicians power and money and also influence that went into it. In the 1900’s, machines were usually associated with a political party; party’s forced to join to limit competition. And although it provided aids it also stifled opportunities for many citizens. Political bosses controlled access to city jobs for example police and fire departments or on contraction projects. To get a city work contract you had to donate to the machines reelection campaign. Many business paid politicians make government not to interfere with their activities. Such payoffs became part of the cost of doing business. Muckrakers called them BRIBERY National government also suffered from corruption. For example, the constitution gave state legislatures the power to choose senators, but corporations often bribed state legislators to elect their favored candidates to the senate. The senates were really wealthy men with class ties to powerful industries. As cities and their problems grew rapidly the political environment changed. No longer did politicians run small manageable cities. These were big cities with big city problems and the government structures designed to cope with these problems grew. As the government grew it became the livelihood for many professional politicians. Some would argue that these politicians were corrupt, they would argue that they provided a needed service . he Society of St. Tammany, which was also called the Columbian Order, was founded in May 1789 (some sources say 1786). The organization took its name from...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document