In dealing with the new urban environment of the late 19th century, which group was more successful--the political machines or the social reformers?

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Political machines were more successful than the social reformers in the late 1800s. During this time, many immigrants were coming to the United States, especially from South and East Europe. They settled in cities, often in ethnic neighborhoods. As the population of the cities rose rapidly, the city governments struggled to deal with the issues created by the rapidly increasing population. The political machines, led by the party boss, saw this as an opportunity to get power and control. These machines help meet the needs of the people living the cities. They provided food for the hungry, jobs for the unemployed, medical care for the sick, and often helped people who were in legal trouble. In return for this help, these people voted for candidates supported by the political machines.

Businesses often needed the help of political machines to get government contracts. By bribing the party boss or donating money to the political machine, these businesses were able to secure these...

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