Politics impacts on the lives of the citizens of Chicago

Junior (College 3rd year) ・History ・MLA ・4 Sources

Politics and Its Effect on Chicago Residents

Politics undoubtedly has a significant direct and indirect effect on Chicago residents' lives. Political conflicts between competing organizations have notably increased negligence, which is a serious problem. The requirements of common people have been neglected as a result, and as a result, much political potential has not been realized. Citizens have been the victims of the crimes committed by Chicago's wealthy and powerful people for years as they compete for supremacy and control over the resources of the state. A myriad of decisions with incredible impacts on the life of citizens has been made by the crème in the society without adequate consultations with the ordinary citizens (Thale).

Efforts to Defend Citizens' Rights

As long as the few rich benefit, little or no attention is usually paid to the other individuals. Thus, citizens of Chicago have often failed victims of negligence by the ruling political elite. In efforts to revert this undesirable trend, citizens have frequently joined hands with reformers to defend their rights. This becomes the trend for the voice of everyday citizens to be heard. However, though successful in some instances, such protests and demonstration failed to work in some cases leading to the wealthy and powerful to have their way (Flanagan).

Similarities with the Progressive Era

Similarities exist in the way politics was run in the progressive era (1895-1920) and the later day Chicago. Struggles for power and control feature in both; in the late 18th century in the progressive era; companies controlled by influential members owned the baseball club and sought for further political power to enhance their agenda against an opposing public (Riess 56). After the events, Chicago residents fought the Cities and Villages Act, as it prohibited distinct legislation to meet particular urban circumstances and hold in reserve weighty powers to the state legislature. This was after Chicago grew and increased in population warranting special charter law. In this case, one may see state lawmakers desire to reserve more power for itself contrary to the public's desire.

Role of Chicagoan Citizens

In both eras, the role of the Chicagoan citizens is well outlined. Fighting for their rights, leading protests and demonstrations against decisions affected them in one way or another. This becomes a useful tool in the politics dominated by the self-centered individual with greed for power and money (Simpson 5). However, though the public played an important role, they were not free from challenges and failure in instances, where political power and influence keeps having effect.

Restriction of Power and Inclusivity

Another key feature in the political systems is the desire of the ruling class to restrict powers for its subject's self-rule and inclusivity in decision-making. The aldermen privilege saw protection of local property owners and led to inconsistent application of ordinances, legislative inefficiency, and outright corruption (Simpson 23). In the progressive era, the same trend was notable; only that these times, the persons in control were powerful politicians, professional gamblers, and big businesses that sought protection from competitors and preferential treatment. The state was dominated by a few influential people, who affect major decisions and determine outcomes, even in the courts of law.

Money, Power, and the Chicagoan Citizens

Notably, key issues in the similarities in the political rule in the two eras are first of all the influence of money and power in the political arena. Money seems to be the primary means of gaining control and influencing decisions to in one's favor. Another important factor is the desire for more power and control by individuals of the ruling class. It includes depriving citizens of their rights in decision-making and public participation. Thus, it may be concluded that of ultimate importance is the strength possessed by the Chicagoan citizens and reformers. It is this power that brings notable changes in the legislations and fights for justice resulting decisions that are favorable to the local Citizens.

Works Cited

Flanagan, Maureen A. Charter reform in Chicago, 1987. http://encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/231.html. Accessed 25 Jun. 2017.

Riess, Steven A. “The Baseball Magnates and Urban Politics in the Progressive Era: 1895-1920.” Journal of Sport History 1.1 (1974): 41-62.

Simpson, Dick. Rogues, rebels, and rubber stamps: The politics of the Chicago City Council, 1863 to the present. Westview Press, 2008.

Thale, C. (2017). Aldermanic Privilege. http://encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/2197.html. Accessed 25 Jun. 2017.

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