Boss Tweed and the Government Corruption of Tammany Hall

The 19th Century was one of the most important eras in the growth of the United States. It was a time when the country was starting to grow from Atlantic to Pacific, and a time when immigrants started to plant roots in the country. It was also a time where major cities started to form and become the power centers of the United States. However, the growth of the country was not without the birth of powerful and political machines such as the one in New York City known as Tammany Hall.

Tammany Hall was originally founded as a political organization in New York in 1786 and the early days it was a major force in getting immigrants in power in the city. While the Society of St. Tammany as it was known helped immigrants, the most notable were Irish immigrants to the United States. The early years of the organization showed power by controlling many of the nominations for offices in New York City, as well as the state.

The hall grew in power during the mid-1800’s which was the time of a large increase in Irish immigrants. The hall became the place that the Irish turned to when arriving in the country and in turn would return favors when they had the opportunity. Tammany Hall also was a place where William “Boss” Tweed gained power. It was during the time of Tweed that the hall became linked with corruption and graft. When the 20th Century rolled around, opposition to the power of Tammany Hall started to work to remove the power. Throughout the century, opponents gained victories until the hall ceased in the 1960’s.

Origin of Tammany Hall

Rise in Politics

  • Political Machines – An examination of the political machine that was Tammany Hall.
  • Immigrants and Politics – Useful article which describes how immigrants helped fuel the political corruption at Tammany.
  • Tammany Hall – A look at the politics of the era at Tammany Hall.
  • Tammany Hall Politicians – Helpful page with information on the various politicians and roles in politics.
  • Rise in Politics – Article which portrays how the increase in immigrants led to corruption.

Famous Figures

  • Aaron Burr – Biographical look at one of the first leaders of Tammany Hall.
  • William Mooney – Information on William Mooney who was one of the founders of the organization.
  • Honest John Kelly – Article and cartoon which lampoons “Honest” John Kelly and his role with Tammany Hall.
  • Fernando Wood – Useful article about Wood who was elected Mayor of New York City.
  • James J. Walker – Information about the mayor who was elected with the backing of Tammany Hall.

Boss Tweed and Corruption

Tammany Hall Opponents

  • Hall History – Useful page with information on the history and information on opponents of Tammany Hall.
  • Fiorello La Guardia – Biography of the New York City mayor who fought against the hall.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt – Information on the President who helped to eliminate federal funding for the organization.
  • Herbert Lehman – New York State Governor who beat a Tammany Hall candidate.
  • DeWitt Clinton – Governor of New York State that publicly opposed the hall.

Decline of Tammany Hall

While political power and corruption has been a part of our history, Boss Tweed and the workings of Tammany Hall have been one of the most famous instances in the United States. We hope you have found this information helpful in learning more about it and please feel free to share this information with others.

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