Political Machines • City governments in the late 1800s became controlled by well-organized political parties called political machines. • The leaders of these political machines were known as political bosses. • These machines became linked with immigrants. • They would welcome immigrants and help them find jobs and in return they would get votes, thus ensuring they would remain in power.
Tammany hall • The most famous (or infamous) political machine was Tammany Hall. • This political machine was run by William Tweed
Corruption • These political machines became infamous for graft • Graft: the acquisition of money or political power through illegal or dishonest methods • Bosses would receive bribes, payoffs, or kickbacks (payments of part of the earnings from a job or contract)
Restoring Honest Government • Corruption did not just occur at the local level. It found its way to the federal level as well. • President Grant’s administration was filled with corruption. • Although he himself was not dishonest, the men he surrounded himself as a result of the spoils system were. • The spoils system was a system of awarding civil service positions to people based on their support rather than their abilities.
What does this cartoon suggest about Grant’s administration?
Republican party splits • The battle over the spoils system was enough to split the Republican Party into 2 groups: • Stalwarts – who didn’t want to reform the spoils system • Half-Breeds – who did want to reform the spoils system.
Difference between stalwarts and half-breeds • STALWARTS Spoils System
Difference between stalwarts and half-breeds • HALF-BREEDS Spoils System
The two sides battled for years over the spoils system but nothing ever amounted to long lasting change in terms of civil service reform. What would be the catalyst to reform???????????
Garfield Assassination Fact Sheet • Who killed him? • Charles Guiteau, a Stalwart • Why? • Guiteau did not receive a position in Garfield’s administration that he felt earned through his support of Garfield in his campaign • Effects of the Assassination: • Chester A. Arthur, a Stalwart, becomes President and leads civil service reform • Pendleton Civil Service Act is passed establishing the Civil Service Commission to administer competitive to those seeking government jobs. • People now received government jobs based on merit (ability) rather than patronage (support)