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One of the most famously corrupt political machines was Tammany Hall in New York City during the 1800s. Tammany Hall originated in 1786 as fraternal political society.
Aaron Burr molded into a powerful political organization that dominated New York politics and the Democratic Party. The most well-known leader of Tammany Hall was William Tweed who became known as Boss Tweed. He and the "Tweed ring" of co-conspirators used the power and influence of his political machine, along with fraud and manipulation, to embezzle millions of dollars from New York City.
Tweed's underhanded dealings were eventually challenged by the press, particularly by Thomas Nast, who would become famous for his political cartoons featuring the larger than life, corrupt Boss. Public outcry grew and eventually demanded that corruption charges be made against Tweed; he was found guilty and went to jail.
"Boss Tweed Summary." eNotes.