What was the person called who ran the political machines?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The person who ran a political machine was called a party boss.  Tammany Hall was a very famous political machine in New York City.  This political machine was led by William M. “Boss” Tweed. Political machines formed because city governments were struggling meeting the needs of the citizens. As the population of the cities grew at a very rapid rate (in part due to large numbers of immigrants coming to the United States), city governments were unable to handle basic services that citizens expected.  This is where the political machine stepped in to meet the needs of the citizens of the city. The political machine knew that if it helped the citizens with basic needs, it could count on the citizens to vote for candidates from the political machine.  As a result, elected officials who were loyal to the party boss dominated the city government.  These elected officials knew they got elected because of the support from the party boss.  As a result, they did whatever the boss told them to do.  The allowed the party boss to control city government.  This led to a great deal of corruption in city government that benefited the political machine.  For many years, party bosses where very influential in city government.

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