George Washington Plunkitt
In the late nineteenth century. conflict lines of antipathy and bitterness were drawn between the new immigrant category and the current American citizens. In New York City. the Nativists and the Irish Catholic community clashed on opposing sides of the line. The bulk of Irish Catholic immigrants were uneducated. unskilled. and foreign to the industrial metropolis life of the new universe. Their mass Numberss filled up the city’s slums. hapless houses. and prisons. With strong antipathy from New York Nativists. the Irish immigrant community was ab initio obstructed from achieving governmental support.
This nothingness in representation of such a monolithic per centum of New York’s population allowed for the outgrowth and great success of Tammany Hall leaders like George Washington Plunkitt. George Washington Plunkitt. born in 1842. grew up surrounded by this new immigrant Irish-Catholic community. He identified with the city’s immigrant hapless and on the job category ; the resented New York Irish were Plunkitt’s community. Although Plunkitt used his political position for his ain benefit. his place as a political leader was utile for his community.
Plunkitt’s nepotistic beliefs. while controversial. proved to profit his community. He had a strong belief in the spoils system and stood for “rewarding the work forces that won the victory” ( 12 ) . He could non anticipate the being of a party system that did non put its ain workers in offices ( 13 ) . He honestly discussed the impossiblenesss of “ [ maintaining ] an organisation together without patronage” ( 36 ) . In response to an accusal of Tammany Hall’s backing. Plunkitt expressed his belief that there is no 1 more in demand. better tantrum. or more dying to function the metropolis than Tammany workers ( 51 ) .
Although this mentality gave Plunkitt a controversial ‘quid pro quo’ attitude towards authorities personal businesss. his community benefitted from this agreement. This agreement allowed Plunkitt to supply occupations to his protagonists who might hold otherwise suffered unemployment. A bulk of Plunkitt’s protagonists were uneducated and unskilled migrators who were by and large feared and disapproved of. Plunkitt meanwhile knew “every large employer in [ his ] territory and in the whole city” and made a point to maintain path of the occupations ( 27 ) .
These connexions enabled Plunkitt to supply occupations for the work forces he considered ‘deservin’ ” ( 27 ) . To him. a meriting adult male is any adult male with a ballot for Tammany Hall. Not merely did Plunkitt supply occupations to his components but he besides provided fundamental support and a signifier of insurance for the poorer households in his territory. If a household in his territory was in demand. he was able to “fix them up” until they were on their ain pess once more ( 27 ) . He proclaimed “no Tammany adult male goes hungry in my district” ( 36 ) .
Plunkitt made it unmistakably clear though. that while it was a philanthropic gift he was offering. it was merely in the name of political relations. For illustration. after depicting the support he offered to households burdened by the desolation of a fire. he egotistically asked himself how many votes one fire could convey him ( 37 ) . Although Plunkitt was ne’er without a self-interest motivation. he was in a alone place holding the ability to be a supplier for households in demand. At the clip. there was no authorities public assistance system established.
Alternatively. the hapless and those in demand could trust on the public assistance offered by Plunkitt ; his community benefitted from his ability to take attention of them. Plunkitt’s ain benefits from authorities are obscured and. in some manner. vindicated because of the support he provided for his community. Plunkitt made a luck in political relations but in return succeeded in acquiring large betterments for New York City ( 28 ) . If Plunkitt had non made his heap in political relations. the societal cyberspace he controlled would hold collapsed.
The community would hold been worse off if he had non reaped the benefits from authorities and used his ain financess to supply aid to the hapless. Plunkitt was in no manner a altruist but in going a nepotistic and selfish authorities functionary who used political relations for his ain advantage. he became utile to his community. Plunkitt saw a ballot in everyone. no affair his or her position. He had the ability to “be several kinds of a adult male in a individual day” ( 45 ) .
He could “talk grammar” with the wealthy but besides connect with the common people of his territory ( 45 ) . He kept is components close and would “do them a good bend whenever he [ had ] a chance” ( 46 ) . Plunkitt’s adaptable personality and mercantile attack towards political relations made him valuable to his community. With his position and luck. he supported his community and provided authorities representation for the new Irish immigrant category. He was a supplier of occupations and a supplier of public assistance in return for a ballot.