Tammany Hall


Tammany Hall
1. a Democratic political organization in New York City, founded in 1789 as a fraternal benevolent society (Tammany Society) and associated esp. in the late 1800s and early 1900s with corruption and abuse of power.
2. the building in which the Tammany organization had its headquarters.
[named after Tammany (var. of TAMANEN, TAMMENUND), 17th-century Delaware Indian chief, later facetiously canonized as patron saint of U.S.]

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Executive committee of the Democratic Party in New York City.

The group was organized in 1789 in opposition to the Federalist Party's ruling "aristocrats." The Society of Tammany was incorporated in 1805 as a benevolent body; its name derived from a pre-Revolutionary association named after the benevolent Indian chief Tammanend. The group became identified with the city's Democratic Party. The makeup of the society was substantially altered in 1817 when Irish immigrants, protesting Tammany bigotry, forced their right to membership and benefits. Tammany later championed the extension of the franchise to white propertyless males. Nevertheless, the society's appeal to particular ethnic and religious minorities, the doling out of gifts to the poor, and the bribing of leaders of rival political factions, among them the notorious boss William Marcy Tweed, made the name Tammany Hall synonymous with political corruption. Its power was greatest in the late 19th and early 20th century; it declined in the 1930s under the reforms of Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.

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▪ American political history
also called  Tammany,  

      the executive committee of the Democratic Party in New York City historically exercising political (political machine) control through the typical boss-ist blend of charity and patronage. The name was derived from a pre-Revolutionary association named after Tammanend, a wise and benevolent Delaware Indian chief. When Tammany was organized in New York in 1789, it represented middle-class opposition to the power of the “aristocratic” Federalist Party. Incorporated in 1805 as a benevolent body, the Society of Tammany became identified with the Democratic Party by means of identical leadership within both organizations.

      The makeup of the society was substantially altered in 1817 when Irish immigrants, protesting Tammany bigotry, forced their right to membership and benefits. Later Tammany championed the spread of the franchise to white propertyless males. Nevertheless, the society's appeal to particular ethnic and religious minorities, the doling out of gifts to the poor, and the bribing of rival political faction leaders, among them the notorious “Boss” William M. Tweed, made the name Tammany Hall synonymous with urban political corruption.

      Tammany's power was formidable in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but its control over New York politics was diminished when Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt (Roosevelt, Franklin D.) reduced its status to a county organization after it failed to support him in 1932. It further declined in power during the reform administrations of mayors Fiorello H. La Guardia (1933–45) and John V. Lindsay (1966–73).

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Universalium. 2010.

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