NEW YORK SCHOOL OF POLITICS
In the late eighties when Thomas C. Platt attained a position of leadership in the Republican party of the state of New York, he was in his fifties, while Roosevelt was just past thirty. Platt's leadership rested not only upon the geographical, racial, economic, and social conditions outlined in the previous chapter but also upon the fact that he had had a long period of rigorous political training. The methods which the older man used to maintain his control over the Republican party organization were not new. From the time of Burr and Van Buren, party organizations in the state had been compact centrally dominated bodies.1 Platt was primarily a keeper and guardian of a set of political traditions, to which by a natural process of selection he had fallen heir. Practically every device that he used in 1888 when his political star was on the ascendency, he had seen tested and exploited at some time during the previous thirtytwo years of his political schooling. At this time Roosevelt, as one of the most vigorous representatives of the new generation, had already shown himself to be somewhat of an iconoclast.
In his Autobiography, Platt wrote that he "drifted into politics -- just drifted."2 He came to his majority at a time____________________
T. C. Platt The Autobiography of Thomas Collier Platt (compiled and edited by Louis J. Lang, New York, 1910), p. xxi. Mr. Livingston Platt, Platt's grandson, informed the writer on Septem-