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During the 19th century there was a rapid growth of American cities due to immigration and migration from rural areas This rise in the population created enormous problems for city governments which were often unable to provide for the people and lacked any type of structure In these conditions we begin to see the emergence of political machines such as Tammany Hall in New York City These groups were able to build a loyal voter following especially among immigrant groups by performing such favors as providing jobs or housing Political machines are characterized by a disciplined and hierarchical organization reaching down to neighborhood and block organizers that enables the machine to respond to the problems of individual neighborhoods or even families in exchange for loyalty at the pollsThey were called machines because of their power to get candidates elected and their mechanical like efficiency when doing business Political machines are local political party organizations capable of mobilizing or manufacturing large numbers of votes on behalf of candidates for political office The traditional American political machine consists of three elements a county committee which governed the machine an army of ward and precinct leaders who mobilized and organized support at the neighborhood level and party loyalists who supported the machine with votes and financial support in return for benefits provided by ward and precinct leaders The county committee consisted of professional politicians and the partys top office holders within the county In some cases a single leader called the party boss would dominate the committee In the 20th century individuals such as Kansas Citys Thomas J Pendergast Bostons James Michael Curly and Chicagos Richard J Daily exercised a controlling influence on their citys political affairs through their command of the county committee The county committees control of government jobs and its ability to secure contributions from businesses enabled it to establish and maintain the machines second organizational tier the precinct or ward organization Benefits at the
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