Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

Big Tim Sullivan and Metropolitan Politics, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 611

Essay

In this biographical article, historian Daniel Czitrom analyzes the life and political rise to power of “Big” Tim Sullivan who in 1889 was accused of being the “boon companion of thieves, burglars, and murderers” as the elected representative of the Five Points slum district in New York City, an area of great poverty and impoverishment and the home to some of the most notorious criminals in the long history of the city.  However, in contrast to his “persona” as a haborer of thieves and killers, Sullivan declared in 1907 “I believe in liberality. Help your neighbors but keep your nose out of his affairs. I am square with my friends, and all I ask is a square deal in return” (172). Certainly, these statements do not reflect the attitudes of a man who runs with criminals and lives the life of a criminal himself.

As Czitrom argues in this article, “Big” Tim Sullivan, in order to counter the charges against him by Thomas F. Byrnes, chief inspector of the New York Police Department in 1889, went to great lengths to create a new “public persona” or an image that conveys honesty and integrity, supported by stressing his “impoverished and fatherless childhood, the saintly influence of his mother, and the necessity to go to work” at seven years of age to help support his mother and siblings (173). Also, as part of this new persona, Sullivan wished to create “a new metropolitan political style” based on “a deep knowledge of city street life” while living at Five Points with his fellow Irish immigrants, living hand-to-mouth in the tenements of New York City and doing whatever was needed to survive (173).

Of course, in the late 1880’s, the city of New York was experiencing some significant transformations in relation to the nature of urban politics. One important area as Czitrom points out was the so-called underworld that today signifies a world filled with criminals and organized crime syndicates like the Italian Mafia and in 1889 the Irish Mafia, composed of immigrants from Ireland. This entity, a sort of concealed society beneath traditional and accepted culture, provided a “zone of pleasure for visiting businessmen and tourists” (i.e., prostitution, gambling, and other vices usually outlawed by the State of New York), and many opportunities for exploitation, something which Sullivan fully appreciated via “the enormous political and economic power” related to the people that frequented this “zone of pleasure” and those who controlled the structure of metropolitan life in the city (174).

Also, the career of “Big” Tim Sullivan as a potent political activist played a major role in the merger of New York City politics and Sullivan’s show business ventures that included “an uncanny and shrewd melding of job patronage and legal services” for the “underdogs” of the city; “charity and poor relief” for those struggling to survive on a daily basis; “urban carnivals” for those who could not afford big ticket prices for places like the Metropolitan Opera House; the “protection of gambling and the saloon trade,” reminiscent of mob activities in Las Vegas in the early 1960’s; and an increase in tolerance for “commercial entertainments,” such as shows that featured scantily-clad dancers and performers in what were then known as bawdy houses (Czitrom 191). Thus, “Big” Tim Sullivan could be seen as a contemporary of P.T. Barnum but with a political alignment more in favor with the common man and woman living out their existence in Five Points and elsewhere in New York City at about the same time as the emergence of the Gilded Age and the so-called “Robber Barons.”

Bibliography

Hartzell, Lawrence L. A Mosaic of America. Vol. 2. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2007. 172-191.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

Preparation for Civil Rights and Terrorism, Essay Example

The purpose of a thesis statement is to provide insight of your topic areas through persuasion. The thesis statement further tells the reader how he/she [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 651

Essay

Strategic Audit for Walmart, Essay Example

Strategic Highlights of Wal-Mart Corporation’s Key Area Strengths Key Area Specific Activities Administration ·         Implementing management information systems ·         Dealing with legal problems and solutions [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 969

Essay

The Collapse of Barings Bank Case, Essay Example

What was Nick Leeson’s strategy to earn trading profits on derivatives? Nick Leeson wanted to earn a profit by purchasing futures on the Japanese Stock [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 509

Essay

Libertarian Party Verses Democratic Party, Essay Example

Introduction The Libertarian Party is a United States political party, which was been founded on December 11, 1987. The party has over 200,000 voters, which [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 901

Essay

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Schizophrenics, Essay Example

Abstract                                                  [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 973

Essay

Transactional Analysis, Essay Example

Abstract Eric Berne MD (d.1970) was responsible for developing Transactional Analysis which is a social psychology.  Essentially this is a psychotherapy tool that is used [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 708

Essay

Preparation for Civil Rights and Terrorism, Essay Example

The purpose of a thesis statement is to provide insight of your topic areas through persuasion. The thesis statement further tells the reader how he/she [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 651

Essay

Strategic Audit for Walmart, Essay Example

Strategic Highlights of Wal-Mart Corporation’s Key Area Strengths Key Area Specific Activities Administration ·         Implementing management information systems ·         Dealing with legal problems and solutions [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 969

Essay

The Collapse of Barings Bank Case, Essay Example

What was Nick Leeson’s strategy to earn trading profits on derivatives? Nick Leeson wanted to earn a profit by purchasing futures on the Japanese Stock [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 509

Essay

Libertarian Party Verses Democratic Party, Essay Example

Introduction The Libertarian Party is a United States political party, which was been founded on December 11, 1987. The party has over 200,000 voters, which [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 901

Essay

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Schizophrenics, Essay Example

Abstract                                                  [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 973

Essay

Transactional Analysis, Essay Example

Abstract Eric Berne MD (d.1970) was responsible for developing Transactional Analysis which is a social psychology.  Essentially this is a psychotherapy tool that is used [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 708

Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!