History of New York from 1800-1930, Essay Sample

Published: 2022-03-11
History of New York from 1800-1930, Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American history
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1091 words
10 min read

Urbanization as a process influences the growth of a given urban area, and in this case, this paper analyses how it influenced the trends in the growth of New York City with the advent of the 19th century. The major elements that impacted the growth of New York City included the natural population, rural to urban migration and the expansion of urban areas. The economic growth and development of the city was influenced by infrastructure and industrialization. In 1790, the population of USA was 3.9 million, which by 1900 was 161 million. Urbanization in USA was the fasters with New York City recording a steadily increasing trend. From 1790-1920, the population of USA grew faster and it was termed as the silent revolution. New York City developed as a center for trade and commerce. It was boosted by the fact that it was an industrial power, economic center and was able to connect with other regions. In the 19th century, centers for businesses could connect with one another. The transportation and location of New York City played a crucial role in the development of the city, with a major concentration on the Great Lakes, canals and Rail Roads. New York City had an 1850-9000 miles road and industrialization played an important role in the development of the economy of the city. Social and economic changes were based on economic system and resources and in the 19th century, there was ten percent of jobs in the industry. Currently almost everyone has a job opportunity. The social class of the city viewed that the working class lived where they worked while the Manhattan workers lived outside companies. The system of governance changed after the introduction of party machines to lead cities. As discussed in the next paragraphs, the party machine came into place because of the growth of urban centers and the eastern part was becoming large than the west coast. The party machine aimed at ironing issues related to diversity and urbanization after it became apparent that African American issues were not addressed and there was limited job opportunities.

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Effectiveness of Political Machine in Governing Cities

In the mid-19th century, there was the need for political order in the United States of America. The social order which was created earlier that grouped people into social classes including the wealthy, middle class and the poor led to the need for political order. The type of early governance was informal given that there were no written rules that governed people. The changes in the social order led to ethnic diversity, political and social conflict. People needed a mechanism to manage cities. This led to the rise of the city government. However, the city government did not look like it could resolve the crisis which the New York City was going through given that there was increment in security issues. This led to the introduction of party machines which were used to govern urban governments. It was a way of governing the cities. The idea of party machines was introduced at the start of the 19th century but it reached its peak towards the end of the century. However, it hit a sudden decline after the 19th century. The party machine came into place because of the growth of urban centers and the eastern part was becoming large than the west coast. The party machine aimed at ironing issues related to diversity and urbanization. Foreigners did not know the cultural traditions of the natives and they tried to recreate solidarities. Native Americans competed with foreigners for job opportunities. These were some of the issues that party mechanism type of governance sought to rectify. The completion for opportunities led to the rise of social racism from the elites. Notably, many people living in New York City were not natives. There was conflict between immigrants and Native Americans. The development of cities became a political and social challenge, which increased the demands of the nation.

Therefore, the urbanized cities required new forms of government which led to the party machines. Party machines were the transactional method where people exchanged patronage for electoral support. The party machine was an organization which was managed by a small group of people which had control over votes for political purposes. Party mechanism was an effective form of governance because it was able to respond to the problems that befell families such as corruption in the government level and violence at the family level. The upper class was not for the governance by party machines and they laughed at its efforts. The urban class advocated and supported the party machine method because a lot of them benefited from recruitments for work opportunities. Party machines led to the rise of middle class workers but they turned against it because it reflected the upper class most times. Notably, the party machines was not beneficial to the African Americans and this led to its subsequent decline as a tool for governance.

Decline of party Machines

The decline of party machines can be attributed to the labor groups, businessmen, women activists and minorities (African Americans) who tried to stop it from operating. Also, there were seven reforms which led to the ultimate fall of the party machine style of governance. These were firstly, the adoption of the civil service reforms. This specific adoption restricted the number of patronage jobs because of these jobs being based on merit. Secondly, there was the introduction of the 1833 Peldenton Act which provided for the federal government to hire people. Thirdly, there was the creation of the primary election system which gave people the chance to express their opinions relating to the issue at hand of lack of employment opportunities. The fourth reason was that there was the creation of state and federal courts which adopted several policies that did not support the cause of party machines. New organizations were also created which provided competition to party machines and this led to them becoming irrelevant to the people. People had alternatives for governance and this was very crucial in influencing their perceptions. Also, there was the creation of the national municipal league, and the Great Depression of 1930, and the process of suburbanization led to its ultimate decline. Therefore, the party machines were partly successful as a tool for city governance because they addressed some problems such as job opportunities. They were also ineffective because they did not address all the problems and ignored the plights of African Americans. Had they been successful, they would have been used up to late into the 21st century.

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