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Machine politics had numerous strengths among which were the high levels of political participation it encouraged It also satisfied important social needs that official government institutions could not fulfill due to the decentralized structure of government provided for by the Constitution Effective party bosses were able organize and centralize fragmented power in order to satisfy the needs of different groups in their community It humanized and personalized assistance to the needy by directly appealing to individual concerns instead of to broader public interests It replaced what was perceived by immigrants to be the cold bureaucratic dispensation of limited aid following upon detailed investigations of legal claims to aid of the client with the more personal techniques employed by the precinct captain who asks no questions exacts no compliance with legal rules of eligibility and does not snoop into private affairsUrban Politics A Reader 104 Politicians of the machine were seen as just one of us and the machine politics became a system of patronage and personal ties This was the case especially for immigrants who faced discrimination and had limited opportunities for upward mobility Machines provided immigrants as well as deprived classes with alternative paths for social mobility when these groups encountered the relative absence of opportunity for achieving these types of success Machine politics also benefited business both those that engaged legitimate and illegal endeavors by providing them with services that business required to grow and prosper but could not attain through conventional andor morally acceptable means104 However machine politics also has its drawbacks It tended to be exclusionary as the machine would only represent certain ethnic groups and not others For example Stephen Erie described the limited effectiveness of machines ability to sustain long-term economic mobility for its supporters Erie points to the fact that although the machine allowed Irish to gain strong political power politically and limited economic gains and social mobility other ethnic groups whom did not have ties to
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