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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Throughout American history, political party organizations have served both as effective forces of political incorporation of newly arriving immigrants and as powerful barriers to fuller representation for minority groups. This chapter examines how urban political leaders and institutions have shaped the political emergence or suppression of ethnic groups from the Civil War era to the early twenty-first century. With particular focus on New York and Chicago, it critically reassesses the conventional paradigm of big-city party bosses as ethnic integrators fashioning and rewarding multiethnic “rainbow coalitions” and of political reformers as defenders of native-born Protestants.

Keywords: Machine politics, party bosses, urban politics, political parties, immigration, political participation, ethnic politics, political reform

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