6. Tweed’s Efforts to Consolidate Power Sort of Helped New York City in the Long Run

Tammany-Hall_Union-Square_NYC_Untapped-Cities-02-Bryan-Garcia The E 17th Street facade of the former Tammany Hall headquarters, where its political past shares the space with signs for its present day theatrical tenants.

You know those annoying upstate legislators always meddling in New York City affairs? Turns out it has always been thus. Tweed’s whole purpose for taking over state government was so that he could transfer power back to the city, making it easier to manage. But upstate legislators wouldn’t give up their power so easily, as attached as they were to the bribes they received from downstate special interests. Tweed came out on top with an amendment that restored some self-governance to New York City. The new City Charter was good for Tammany business, but it was also supported by leading reformers like Peter Cooper (of said Village).