What are "Boss Politics"?

What exactly are "boss politics"? I came across this term on an US History worksheet, and I need clarification on the meaning. The assignment was related to Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle", so I'm guessing it has to do with city government in the 1900's that maybe gave minimal freedom to the voters and gave all the power to the "bosses"?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Normally, I don't trust Wikipedia. This is pretty good though. Keep in mind that, if this was part of an assignment, that you can probably find a better answer in your text. Good luck!

    Political boss

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    1869 tobacco label featuring Boss TweedA boss, in politics, is a person who wields de facto power over a particular political region or constituency. Bosses may dictate voting patterns, control appointments, and wield considerable influence in other political processes. They do not necessarily hold public office themselves. In fact, most historical bosses did not.

    Bosses were a major part of the political landscape during the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. In the South, charismatic populist politicians like Huey Long commanded large networks of supporters. Similar practices existed in the northern cities, particularly New York City, where Boss Tweed (arguably the most infamous political boss) wielded control over the powerful Democratic political machine. Analogues could be found in most other urban settings, e.g. the Chicago Democratic Machine and the political racket of E. H. Crump.

    Bossism is generally associated with corruption and organized crime and has often been regarded as subversive to the democratic process. Nevertheless, it has been common practice since the Roman Republic, and remains fairly widespread today, particularly in undeveloped nations. An element of bossism remains in most political environments, albeit arguably to a far lesser extent than it once did.

  • 4 years ago

    Political Boss

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Usually I don't answer homework questions, but this is an interesting bit of history.

    Back in the 1900's the political machine in NYC was run by Tamany Hall (the name given to City Hall) and the head of Tamany Hall was referred to as "Boss Hall"...

    Check out "Tamany Hall" and you should come up with quite a few links.

  • 1 decade ago

    Kind of like today with Bush/Boss.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the kind of politics that are brainwashed to u by a boss and u have no other choice but to accept it, otherwise they point the gun to ur temple

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