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V. How the main points of this situation were brought out under

the different presidents, from Grant down to McKinley.

The scandals and political corruption of Grant's presidency.

The administration and the Organization of the party are

one and the same. The mercenary contingents of the party

take the lead in the Organization, the honest elements sever

their connection with the official party, from indifference or

disgust, and a complete separation of the Organization from

the great mass of the party takes place. Hayes makes some

not very successful attempts to restore the integrity and the

independence of the administration with regard to the Organi-

zation ; however, the situation improves slightly under his

presidency. Garfield exposed to the pretensions of the crack

leaders of the Organization and of the office-seekers. His

tragic death provokes an awakening of public opinion against

the spoils' system, but the solution of the problem of freeing

the public service from the politicians, approached by the

law of 1883, makes but slow progress. Even Cleveland, who

tones down the abuses of the spoils' system, finds himself

helpless against the Organization of the party. Harrison is

in open connivance with it. McKinley meekly makes over

his patronage to it as a matter of right .


VI. Being practically in possession of the power of appointing to

public offices, the Organization of the party imposes a regular

tax on the officials ; the “ assessments." The development

of the system. The strictness with which this tribute was

levied. The connivance of the administration. The inter-

vention of the law of 1883. The contributions exacted from

the candidates. The tariff of nominations. Public func-

tions were virtually put up to auction. The party Organiza-

tion was lowered to an industrial concern for making money

out of places


acquired by the party Organization underwent fresh devel-

opments; the traffic in places is followed by the exploitation

of the influence which they involved, and in particular of

the power over the public money which they conferred.

The alliance of the politicians with the jobbers and specu-

lators. The Rings. They begin by attacking municipal

administration with the weapons supplied by the party

Machine. They assert themselves in New York under the


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auspices of Tammany Hall. The origins of Tammany as a

patriotic society. It gets entangled in party politics and

gives birth to a political branch organization. Its primitive

character of respectability is changed owing to the influx of

the mob element and to the latifundia of patronage which

attract the mercenaries to it. The convention system con-

firms its title of "regular" Democratic Organization. The

reinforcements provided by the immigration from Europe.

The organization of the mob, the army of Democratic mame-

lukes. The tyrannical sway of Tammany over the Demo-

cratic party ; "party regularity” linked with the edifice of

Tamımany Hall. The rivalries and revolts in its own party. 149

II. The systematic plunder of the public purse at New York after

the war. Tweed's Ring. The support given to it by the
Tammany Hall Organization and the patronage of the city.
The election frauds. All the branches of government are
captured by the Ring. How it robbed the city exchequer.
Overthrow of the Ring. The lesson was of little benefit to
the city. Tammany Hall reinstalled in power. How the

Republican Organization acted in collusion with its nominal

rival, Tammany. The tactics of Tammany Hall in its se-

lections for the higher offices. Its real tendencies and its

alliance with the - dangerous classes." New methods of

depredation adopted by Tammany : blackmailing and extor-

tion practised by the police at its beck and call. New and

successful revolt against Tammany Hall in 1894 ; its return

to power in 1897


III. Municipal disorders of a similar kind in most of the other

large cities. The Gas Ring at Philadelphia. The difference
between the social conditions of the Quaker city and those
of New York was made up for by the perfection of the
Machine. How the latter was set up by the men of the Gas
Ring, and how it helped them to instal themselves in the
municipality with the acquiescence of the good citizens
engrossed by the patriotic rôle of the Republican party and
by preoccupations about protection. How the Gas Ring
sowing corruption broadcast exploited the resources of the
city, and left its wants unattended to. How the faulty
municipal organization, intricate, irresponsible, and subject
to constant regulation by the Legislature, conspired with the
Machine. The efforts of the good citizens were paralyzed by
the connivance of the State Legislature and of the Demo-
cratic opposition with the Gas Ring, and through the mo-
nopoly assured to the candidates of the Ring not only by
the principle of “ regularity," but also by the slip-ticket
system, The Ring is at last dislodged, but the city once

Organization of its electoral monopoly, both as regards the
division of the spoils and the traffic in political influence,
had brought about the formation within its ranks of a per-
sonal government; the “boss." The city boss. The choicest
specimens at New York. The State boss and his position
with regard to the federal Executive and in the Senate.
Faint attempt at bossism in the federal government under
Grant. How the boss combined the character of a party
autocrat with that of a business man. How this last char-
acter of the boss was accentuated and developed by capitalism
in quest of political influences, and how the boss set up as
wholesale broker in legislation and administration, or at all
events as dealer in nominations

VI. The advent of the commercial boss confirmed the moral

decomposition of the parties, which no longer had any dis-
tinctive principles, and were only separated by a purely
conventional line of demarcation. How the parties, worn
out and divided each of them against itself on every ques-
tion, try to perpetuate themselves by repeating the tactics
of the old parties at the time of the slavery conflict (" agree
to disagree”). How the party Organizations keep them arti-
ficially alive in order to continue to enjoy the profits of the
old firm. Mr. Cleveland's attempt to reconstitute the parties
on the question of the customs duties. The ranks of the
parties are once more broken up by the silver question, in
spite of the clever man@uvres of the Organizations. The


crisis of 1896 rouses the parties from their tergiversations.
However, it does not bring about a permanent rearrange-
ment of parties, no more than does the new problem of
imperialism. How the Organizations preventing the worn-
out parties from renovating themselves become the more
indispensable to them the more they were weakening them,
and how the development of the Machine culminating in
bossism accelerated the degradation of the parties.


obtain an accurate idea of the volume and the limits of the

power producing these manifold effects, as disclosed by the

historical investigation of the party Organization, its work.

ing will now be considered from the statical point of view


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I. The local Organization. The primaries. The permanent

cadres supplied to these assemblies by the associations or
clubs in the large cities. The conditions of admission. The
primaries are deserted by the great majority of the citizens
and manipulated by coteries of inferior politicians. The
“slate." The committee is the seat of the coterie

II. The local committees. The centralizing mould in which they

are cast. Their attributions and their real influence. The
excessive power which they, especially the county com-
mittee, wield over the Organization of the party


III. The stratagems and the frauds resorted to in the primaries to

get rid of or to paralyze opposition : "snap” primaries,

"stolen” primaries, “ packed" primaries ; " padded rolls ;"

“pudding ballots ;" fraudulent counting of ballots; conniv-

ance of the “inspectors." Competition of the rival factions

of politicians in the primaries ; the devices with which they

fight each other; the desperate resource of “ bolting" left

to the beaten faction. Description of a primary at Baltimore.

Fraudulent primaries are almost the rule in the cities. The

primaries in the country districts .


IV. The quality of the delegates chosen in the primaries; the

extent of their power and influence. The Crawford system
which dispenses with delegates. How the selections of can-
didates, whether made by delegates or not, depend in the
long run on the primaries. How the whole system of repre-



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acter of the conventions is aggravated by the procedure and
the habits of these assemblies. The excessive powers of the
“ temporary chairman." The verification of credentials.
The more elaborate and more decorative procedure of the
higher conventions; president's speech, drawing-up of the
programme, motions and declarations all have a theatrical
value only; voting of the ticket; absence of genuine activity
and initiative ; everything is cut and dried, “harmony" is
assured by arrangements made beforehand. The conjunc-
tures which spoil the harmony; the rivalries and the efforts
to “get the delegates” to which they give rise ; how this
operation is conducted; the intrigues and the deals; how
the honest delegates are circumvented. The deadlock when
the delegates cannot agree

III. The character of the candidates chosen at the various conven-

tions. The inherent defect of the “good” candidates. The
causes which combine to keep away superior men: the
necessity of “getting the delegates" ; the poor position of
the representatives of the people from the standpoint of
emoluments, of political distinction and social prestige; the
prejudices of local representation and of rotation in offices.
The ideal candidate, moreover, the “available candidate,"
has no need of superior qualities, it is the insignificance of the
candidate that marks him out for support, all his necessary
qualifications are confined to negative virtues; the faintness

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