Political Machines
  • Rise in government corruption and organized crime
  • Graft
    • Bribing of government officials, made office-holding a source of economic gain
  • Bosses
    • Used legal and illegal means to win elections
    • “King Richard” Croker, N.Y., Tammany
    • James Michael Curley, Boston
    • Construction contracts went to the highest bidder
    • Protected gamblers, pimps, urban vice
    • Required city employees to contribute to campaign chests
    • Rounded up new immigrants and paid them to vote a certain way and stuffed ballot boxes
  • John Fitzgerald, Patrick Kennedy (JFK’s grandfathers)
    • Fitzgerald was a Boston city councilor, state congressman, senator, U.S. congressman, mayor of Boston
    • North End ward boss, supervised trading of jobs for votes and favors for cash
    • Kennedy owned a tavern in East Boston, ran Democratic Party’s affairs, served on Strategy Board (devised policies, divide graft, etc)
  • Sicilian Mafia, gangsters, Chinese Tongs
    • Tongs supposed to strengthen communities, crossed into crime
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