4. Tammany Hall Provided Immense Social Welfare to Immigrants

boss-tweed_nast_tammany-hall_nyc_untapped-cities_shervinCartoon by Thomas Nast. Image via Wikimedia Commons

While the name Tammany Hall – and especially Boss Tweed – is synonymous with corruption, the organization also played an irrefutable role in assisting countless immigrants. Moreover, numerous landmarks were constructed by Tammany Hall.

Under Boss Tweed, the city expanded into the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side of Manhattan; construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was initiated, and land was set aside for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Moreover, orphanages and almshouses were constructed and social services expanded tremendously. While all of these activities ultimately paid dividends to Tammany Hall – both financially and by garnering the vote of the immigrants – the patronage they provided new immigrants and the destitute poor was substantial.

Tammany Hall provided impoverished immigrants, many of whom received no aid from the government, with essential means of sustenance, such as food and rent money. Moreover, Tammany acted as a social integrator for immigrants by acclimating them with American society and politics, and by assisting them in gaining citizenship.