The Old Order Dies Hard
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The Old Order Dies Hard book
When Tweed became of age, the people of the city had enjoyed the privilege of electing their own Mayor for a matter of ten years. This concession to the voters was wrung from the reluctant lawmakers at Albany, who from the beginning of the Republic had striven with might and main, by legislative enactment, to create a ruling class. Those who had advocated this direct election reform were the extreme radicals of the day. In an earlier decade other extremists, after years of agitation, forced the landed gentry and their representatives in the Legislature to abolish the unjust law that limited suffrage to the propertied class. With it went the barbarous medievalism which permitted a man to be thrown into jail for the period of his natural life—if the money due, no matter how small, remained unpaid and the debtor obdurate.