Boss Platt and His New York Machine: A Study of the Political Leadership of Thomas C. Platt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Others

By Harold F. Gosnell | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER III
POLITICAL UPHEAVAL IN NEW YORK.

Although in 1889 with the coming of the Harrison administration at Washington, Thomas, C. Platt was elevated to a position of leadership in the Republican party of the state of New York, his control was no where nearly as complete then as it came to be in the middle of the nineties. In his Autobiography, Platt said:"I did contribute toward transforming a once Democratic state into an impregnable Republican stronghold."1 A brief survey of the political history of the state from 1889 to 1896 will show that Platt's contribution to the political upheaval in the state was slight. The victories of the Republicans in 1894 and 1896 were not due so much to the efficient Republican organization as they were to the disorganization of the Democratic party, national, state and local. It is necessary to review the industrial and political events which led to the breakup of the Democracy in order to understand the rise of Thomas C. Platt to a position of utidisputed leadership in the councils of his party in the state, a position which he held when Roosevelt was made governor.

It has already been pointed out that David B. Hill was reelected governor in 1888 although Cleveland failed to carry the state as a candidate for the presidency. An analysis of this election will show the weak and strong points of the Democratic state organization. Mr. Hill, the Democratic candidate for governor, was an able man, a prominent

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1
Introduction, p. xvii.

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