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of the Aldermen hate Englishmen, the Board has decided to change the name to "Harry Howard," in honour of a living man conspicuous as a hurrah fireman in the old days of the volunteer organization.' A parody of the municipality of Dublin.
Nor is the intellectual status of the New York representatives of the Democratic party, whether at Albany or at Washington, of a very exalted kind. Referring to the World's Fair' debate in Washington, the New York Commercial Advertiser' (Feb. 1, 1890), Independent, says:—
'New York City has reason to be ashamed of the part which her representatives are taking—or rather, not taking-in the great fight now going on in Congress. . . . New York City, with nearly two million people, represented exclusively by Democrats, has not a single man in Congress with the capacities of a leader. . . . Instead of having a delegation at Washington conspicuous for intellectual strength, it has one conspicuous for intellectual weakness.'
Reference has already been made, in passing, to the notorious 'Tammany' or 'Tweed Ring.' History of twenty years ago is ancient history to many people; but, as the Tammany Ring is a perfect example of a political Machine, and at the same time of that fusion of parties of which we have spoken, we shall briefly allude to it. The very definition of a "Ring, says Mr. Tilden,
'is that it encircles enough influential men in the organization of each party to control the action of both party machines; men who in public push to extremes the abstract ideas of their respective parties, while they secretly join their hands in schemes for personal power and profit.'
There are several histories of the Tammany Ring to which the curious observer of the darker side of human nature under the beneficent rule of Irish Democracy might refer; but it is sufficient for our present purpose to quote the following trustworthy summary of this gigantic fraud:
The Tammany Ring was a political organization, which had contrived to get the whole of New York City into its power. Its chief depredations were committed between 1868 and 1871. It controlled the State Legislature, the police, and every department or functionary of the law; several of the judges on the bench were its servile instruments, and issued decrees at its command; it secured the management of the election "machine," and "ran" it at its own free will and pleasure; a large part of the press was absolutely at its disposal. In the course of three years it had paid to eleven newspapers the sum of $2,329,482 (about 466,0001.) nominally for advertisements, most of which were never even published, or never seen. Not only the City government, but the lion's share of the Vol. 171.-No. 341.
State government also, had fallen into the hands of "Boss" Tweed and his confederates. Millions of dollars were stolen by the conspirators by means of "street openings," "improvements," new pavements, and other frauds. The Ring took from the public treasury a sum amounting to over 1,500,0007. for furnishing and repairing" a new Court-house. The charges for plastering alone came to about 366,000l. For carpets, warrants were drawn for 120,000l., although there were scarcely any carpets in the building. The floors were either bare, or covered with oil-cloth. Nearly 100,000l. was alleged to have been paid for iron safes, and over 8,2001. for "articles" not defined and never found. The total sum stolen was over 4,000,000l.'
We have had occasion, in tracing the evolution of the 'professional politician,' to refer to the 'saloon-keeper' or publican. The power of the 'saloon,' as it is called, in New York politics may be gathered from the fact that there are, according to the Rev. Dr. Howard Crosby, a high authority, 6,811 saloons in New York City, or about one to every 234 of the population, and mostly kept by Irishmen. Taking them as having twenty feet each of frontage-a very low averagethey would, if placed in a line, on both sides of a street, extend over thirteen miles; and some ten of these are 'Irish' miles.
Let us look at the saloon more closely from a purely political point of view. There are, as we have seen, according to Mr. Ivins, about 300 voters in each of 812 election districts, amounting, in round numbers, to somewhat over 200,000 in all, which gives a proportion of one saloon to every thirty voters. As a matter of fact, the proportion is much larger in favour of the saloon.
The saloons are invariably found in the greatest numbers in the poorest districts; so it may be instructive to compare the fecundity of one of these poor districts with that of a typical fashionable locality. The New York World' recently made a census, showing the comparative number of births among the 'classes' and the 'masses.' The census was taken among the families on Fifth Avenue, one of the most aristocratic streets in the city, and Cherry Hill, one of the poorest sections of the city. It was found that in 300 families on Fifth Avenue there were ninety-one children under ten years of age, and six children born within twelve months, while 300 Cherry Hill families had 660 children, and 111 children born within twelve months. The World' pertinently asks, 'Is wealth an enemy of childhood?' No; but the Irish are prolific, and are making of New York, in every sense, an Irish city.
Out of 1002 'primary elections' held in the 812 election
districts in New York City in 1884, 683 were held in saloons, and 36 next door to saloons, or 719 in all, as against 283 held in other places; which easily accounts for Irish influence in local politics. The figures speak for themselves. Mr. Ivins tells us one very simple reason why the saloon is so often chosen: Where 812 primaries are to be held, the number of voters to be accommodated at each is naturally small, and inexpensive places have to be found. To the local politician the public-house thus presents superior attractions, from whatever point of view it may be regarded.'
Naturally the 'pull' of each saloon-keeper over his immediate circle of voters is tremendous, and he consequently becomes a political power of no small importance. He is generally Irish, and his rise to the Board of Aldermen is, we repeat, no very difficult matter; in fact there are, as already shown, in the present Board, no fewer than ten liquor dealers out of a total of twenty-six members; and not a few saloon-keepers rise to the dignity of Assemblyman or State Senator. Even if they are not so largely represented as their ambition could desire, they practically control not only the votes of the Democratic members of both Houses, but the Democratic Governor himself.
The Democratic party in New York is, to all intents and purposes, the liquor party. The Republicans have adopted, whether from honest motives or for political reasons it is not for us to decide, the 'platform' of High Licence.' But the liquor-dealers are rich, organized, and unscrupulous; and more than one measure of High Licence has of late years been vetoed by the Democratic Governor. It would mean political suicide were he to allow a High Licence measure to pass, though it were ever so carefully framed to meet his objections.
'The House Committee on Excise,' says the New York Times,' is a whiskey committee... from beginning to end; and the prediction is now made that it will report the Hendricks High Licence Bill just as the liquor men want it, or will not report it at all. This affords another evidence of how the Legislature is drifting year by year away from the people and closer and closer to corporations and corporate influences.' (March 24, 1890.)
It is well to dwell on this fact that the liquor interest is apparently master of the situation in the Democratic camp; since we shall presently find a concurrent power in the councils of the same party. If this be so, the explanation must be, either that they are one and the same, or else that their interests are identical. Certain it is that the names over the saloons are generally either German or Irish, the latter decidedly predominating.
The Sunday-closing regulations are, with many, set at defiance; the blinds are drawn down, and the front door closed, but the side door is open to all who choose to enter. The law is enforced only to a limited extent; the liquor-dealers have so strong a 'pull' with the 'party boss' that he cannot afford to offend them. Yet there have been times in the history of New York when the Machine leaders have been in a position to defy some powerful organization. In 1867-the date is outside our limits, but the story is typical-the City Inspector made a report which did not please the butchers, one of whom ventured to threaten him with the vengeance of that powerful craft. No, you will not make war on me,' was the Inspector's instant and confident response. When asked to explain why not, his answer was, 'Because I keep the official account of deaths in our city; and I will show, if you drive me to it, the fact that the deaths of children in the blocks adjacent to your slaughter-houses are one-third more than in just such blocks, similarly tenanted, in other locations. I know that you do not wish to leave the city, so you will not provoke me.' And they were quiet. The slaughter-houses have since been removed.
The dirty pool of politics' is a suitable fishing ground for the tramps, ward-heelers, Irish saloon-keepers, and party bosses. The highly respectable portion of the community altogether decline to mix in such derogatory industry; consequently, Home Rule in New York resolves itself into simple mob-rule, or, what is worse, the unquestioned, irresponsible tyranny of unscrupulous demagogues. The leading men are all intensely occupied with business, as Mr. Bryce tells us, and the com munity is so large that the people know little of each other, and the interest of each individual in good government is comparatively small. All political power has fallen into the hands of the Machines; and of all who enjoy the franchise, those use it most who are the least fitted to be entrusted with it. So it has come to pass that it does not pay' to be honest; with what consequences can easily be imagined.
The daily journals are, above all other interests, party organs. If the Democrats are in office, as they generally are in the City of New York, the Tribune' contrives to find fault with everything they do; even when the fault exists, the party bias is so evident that the complaint loses much of its force. For the scandals now being exposed (March 1890) in connection with the Tammany Hall rule of the city, the Republicans are in a great measure to blame.
'It should not be forgotten,' says the 'New York Times,' March 23, 1890, that the Republican organization and Republican voters of
this city are responsible for the restoration of Tammany to power in 1888, Nobody could question the ability, the integrity, or the independence of Mayor Hewitt, or deny the fact that great progress was made under his administration toward the establishment of capacity, honesty, and fidelity in the management of municipal interests. There was an opportunity to continue his administration and carry that progress forward, but the Republicans of the city deliberately sacrificed that opportunity to partisanship, for gain, real or fancied, in the general political field. They insisted upon putting up and supporting a municipal ticket of their own, when they knew that the result would be simply to strike down Mayor Hewitt, throw away all that had been gained by his administration, and restore Tammany to control over the affairs of the city. They have no right to indulge in denunciations of the consequences of their own course, or to derive political capital or advantage from any exposure or discredit of Tammany. A heavy share of the discredit belongs to them.'
This is a good example of Independent' criticism, of which there are several exponents among New York City daily journals; they play the part of candid friend, with a certain leaning to their own side. We may here remark, that the 'New York Times' adopted an Independent' position in politics, on the nomination of Mr. Blaine as Republican candidate for President in 1884.
Certain weekly journals, serious and comic, are also Independent; the politicians of the Republican party, from which they have seceded, contemptuously term them Mugwump.' They carry a certain weight, but are apt to assume the rôle of captious critics. Yet when all mixed motives and partisanship have been eliminated, there yet remains a solid residuum of truth, of a sufficiently sombre hue. Jobbery, corruption, inefficiency, demagogism, mob-rule, and the untold power of the Irish liquor interest; the Machine politicians, the utter indifference of the better classes, or, if not indifference, inertia, demonstrated in mere talk and writing: surely an array of charges damaging to the fair fame of any great city. The charges are proved, daily, hourly; and we wish to present a few of them to readers who may, possibly, be curious to know what Home Rule really is in the Metropolis of the New World.'
Who is to be held responsible for this condition of 'political rottenness' extending, in one form or another, over a period of twenty years? The responsibility must surely attach either to the people or to their rulers. Theoretically, the people of New York City and of the United States generally are their own rulers; as a matter of fact, as we have seen, they are ruled by political Machines. What sort of men they are, by means of whom the Machines govern New York, we shall perhaps be able