George Washington Plunkitt Essay Example
George Washington Plunkitt Essay Example

George Washington Plunkitt Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 2 (529 words)
  • Published: October 13, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
View Entire Sample
Text preview

During the late nineteenth century, tensions and hostility arose between newly arrived immigrants and existing American citizens. This conflict was particularly seen in New York City, where clashes occurred between the Nativists and the Irish Catholic community. The majority of Irish Catholic immigrants lacked education, skills, and familiarity with their new industrial surroundings. As a result, their large numbers led to overcrowded slums, poor housing conditions, and increased prison populations within the city.

At first, the Irish immigrant community struggled to receive government assistance because of strong opposition from New York Nativists. With a significant portion of the population lacking representation, leaders like George Washington Plunkitt thrived. Born in 1842 and raised among the Irish Catholic immigrant community, Plunkitt understood their struggles as his own. Although he used his political position for personal gain, he also benefited his community



Despite holding controversial beliefs such as favoritism toward family members, Plunkitt strongly believed in rewarding those who supported him politically through the spoils system. He did not expect a party system that disregarded prioritizing its own supporters' placement in positions of power. Plunkitt openly acknowledged that maintaining an organization without patronage was impossible.Despite his controversial approach towards government affairs, Plunkitt defended Tammany Hall and believed that its workers were the most suitable for serving the city. His goal was to assist the uneducated and unskilled migrants who were generally disliked by providing them with jobs, thus preventing unemployment among his supporters. Through his connections with major employers in his territory and throughout the city, Plunkitt ensured job opportunities for Tammany Hall voters. Additionally, he provided essential support and acted as a form of insurance for disadvantaged families in

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

his district, ensuring that no Tammany man went hungry under his watch. However, this assistance was temporary with the aim of helping individuals become self-sufficient again. While motivated by politics rather than genuine altruism, Plunkitt's philanthropic actions filled a void left by the absence of a government welfare system at the time. The impoverished relied on him for assistance and benefited from his care. Although it remains unclear how Plunkitt personally gained from his involvement in government, somehow his community support justifies his actions as he accumulated wealth through politics while bringing significant improvements to New York City (28). In summary, Plunkitt's involvement in politics was crucial for both the survival of the network he controlled and the well-being of his community as he used government benefits and personal resources to assist the poor and prevent a collapse.Plunkitt's actions as a government official, although not purely altruistic, ultimately benefited his community. He acknowledged the importance of potential votes from all individuals, regardless of their social status. Plunkitt had the ability to effortlessly transition between engaging in sophisticated conversations with the wealthy and connecting with common people in his district. He maintained strong relationships with constituents and willingly assisted them whenever possible. His adaptable character and pragmatic approach to politics made him an invaluable asset to his community. Utilizing both his social standing and wealth, he supported the community by providing political representation for newly arrived Irish immigrants. In return for their votes, he offered employment opportunities and welfare assistance.

Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds