The infamous New York Democratic political machine known as Tammany Hall was founded in 1786 and over the next 150 years became an increasingly important force in the politics and governmental operations of New York City, New York State, and even the United States. Through manipulation of political nominations, patronage, influence, and loyalties won (especially among immigrant constituencies) Tammany and its leaders acquired great power — and among many a lurid reputation. Today, Tammany is remembered as symbolizing bad government and gross corruption.
But is this a reasonable conclusion?
In a compelling new analysis about the organization’s Irish connections, historian Terry Golway makes the case that Tammany was more than a self-serving machine. Tammany became, in fact, an effective advocate of immigrants in a nativist culture notably suspicious and intolerant of newcomers. He will demonstrate how, for example, Tammany helped to implement New York’s social welfare system in the early twentieth century, and how 19th-century Irish New Yorkers achieved political clout through the organization. He will also discuss how Tammany and its dynamics successfully incorporated the Irish immigrant experience on both sides of the Atlantic.
Terry Golway is well known among the Irish in the New York metropolitan area. He is the author of many articles and books including “Irish Rebel: John Devoy & America’s Fight for Irish Freedom” and “For the Cause of Liberty: A Thousand Years of Ireland’s Heroes.” He is currently director of the Center for History, Politics and Policy at Kean University.
Co-presented by the New York Irish History Roundtable and Glucksman Ireland House NYU.
Attendance to this program is free, and all are welcome to come. There is a suggested donation of $3.00 for non-members to cover the cost of refreshments.
Tickets at the door only; RSVPs will not be taken for this event.
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