Political Reform!The age of Political Reform was a time of great change for the United States Government and system of living. The corrupt government of the United States deeply needed to be changed and revised, and so the process slowly started in the age of Political Reform, a process which ended in success.

Robert_lafollette300.jpgRobert LaFollette - Wisconsin Senator
Established a Progressive Government
Vocal opponent of railroad trusts-took control away from them
  1. Citizens could introduce their own bills
  2. Voters cast ballots for/against proposed laws
  3. Gave citizens the right to remove officials from office

State Income Tax
Sixteenth Amendment

Direct election of senatorsGoal of Progressives.Seventeenth Amendment

Initiation of Australian Ballot (secret ballot)
  • Prevented people from influencing people's votes
  • People would commonly pay to buy people's votes (bribary voting) Bribers could no longer monitor voters, system fell out of practice.

Commission system:

Instead of the rigid hieracry of the "Boss Rule" the city invested power into, 5 commissioners two elected and three appointed.

  • Weakened the power of the political machine
  • The system was incorperated into the command structure of 400 cities within 20 years

Tammany Hall - The Political Machineimages.jpeg

  1. New York City organization against Federalists founded in 1786
  2. Democratic party that controlled New York politics
    • nominations
    • patronage
    • stole money from citizens through "political programs"
  3. Gained support of the immigrant communities
    • Irish 1809-1815
    • Provided jobs for immigrants
  4. Shut down by the Common Council
    • connections to saloon-owners, gang members, etc.
    • secretly received huge amounts of funds
  5. Federal laws passed to oversee the funding and contribution in NY politics

File-William_Marcy_-Boss-_Tweed_(1870).jpeg William M. Tweed

  • Democratic Values
  • "Boss" of Tammany Hall-abused his power as "Grand Sachem"
  • Couldn't control Irish laborers
  • Arrested for spreading corruption
  • New York State SenateUnder the rule of William M. Tweed, Tammany hall
became an engine for political corruption.

George Washington Plunkitt

  • Powerful senator from New York
  • Bought land at cost and sold it for a inflated cost
  • Practiced “honest graft” politics
  • Strong opponent of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act
  • The third member of the Tammany Hall Machine

Plunkitt was a shameless supporter of "honest graft" a poltical system which premoted things like patroage, spoils and other corrupt practices that were outlawed by the civil service act.

Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883-Government Jobs given only to those deserving of them, rather than on the basis of connections or relationships with others within the government-The firing of government officials for political reasons deemed illegal-Creates United States Civil Service Commision-requires certain applicants to take a civil service exam before receiving a job