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The Great Depression, World War II and Suburban Growth

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The function of the Democratic machine in Chicago, which has dominated Chicago politics for nearly half a century, could be described as a political group that recruits its members by offering patronage, the act of offering handouts in return for support. You wash my hand I'll wash yours, in other words, you do something for me and I'll do something for you. Incentives such as political jobs, money, opportunities to get favors from the government that fell under a high degree of leadership that over saw member activity. Just as a business has one chief executive officer at the top of its decision-making pyramid, so the machine has one man, the boss, who operates the machine. Bosses were the chief brokers in the sale and purchase of the urban political power. They employed middle- and lower- mangers, such as ward captains and precinct workers, to conduct the day-to-day affairs of the machine. Like the businessman, the boss sold products to his "consumers," only his customers happened to be voters. These products included efficient government, public works projects, urban jobs, municipal services, and humanitarian aid. In return, the voters "paid" for these services with votes. In the final analysis, the boss brought order and rationality to the often-chaotic world of urban politics.

During the Great Depression Kelly secured millions of dollars for the city in the form of federal New Deal programs. Once President Franklin D. Roosevelt noticed Kelly's 1935 landslide victory, the machine's political clout was unquestionable. Roosevelt realized Kelly was the most powerful Democrat in the state of Illinois and could deliver more than a half-million votes on election day. The New Deal was extraordinarily valuable to Chicago as if functioned as one of the government's antidepression programs. The Works Progress Administration brought 40,000 jobs to the city and all fell under the control of the machine. The WPA and a second New Deal program, the Public Works Administration, began on myriad construction projects around the city.

The residents of Chicago received assistance from Washington through the WPA and PWA. They constructed the seventeen-mile-long Outer Drive, which we know today as Lake Shore Drive, Landscaped Lincoln Park, built several new parks, 30 public schools, state street subway, 30 housing projects, and enlarged Midway Airport.

After World War II was the movement of people from



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