Alfred E. Smith. 12pg Term Paper Includes Bibliography, Endnotes, Outline.

3851 words - 15 pages

AL SMITH - MASTER OF POLITICSFrom a young age Alfred Emanuel Smith exemplified a responsible and determined individual. This can be seen in his initiative to take action by quitting school and engaging in various occupations after his father passed away. Although he had little formal education, his intelligence and charisma would help play a major role in his success.Mr. Smith's childhood was fairly normal. He was born in New York City on December 30, 1873 to the parents of Alfred Emanuel Smith and Catherine Mulvihill. His father was a truck driver and although his earnings were small, they were adequate enough to keep the family content. In 1886, his father's death placed serious financial strain on the family.1 Smith had been attending St. James' Parochial School, yet soon felt obligated to leave school and begin working to support his mother and sister. One can only imagine the many things going through this young boy's mind; at twelve years old he was forced to become a man and work for the welfare of his family. The future governor held an array of positions before he obtained a job at Fulton Fish Market, where he labored long hours - beginning at four o' clock in the morning until five in the afternoon. Earning twelve dollars a week, Smith received a considerable wage even for a grown man.2 By 1895, he was still uncertain of a goal in life. However, from an early age he was enthusiastically outspoken. His character held an undying passion to eagerly speak his mind and this led to his attraction to the theater. Through acting, he naturally touched the emotions of many. The anxiety to be heard expressed his deeply felt need for an audience and soon he found himself craving a profession in politics.3With his background and environment, Smith became an active member of the political organization, Tammany Hall. Despite his very modest education, he secured his first political job as a clerk in the Office of the Commissioner of Jurors. In 1904, Smith was elected by Thomas A. Foley to be a Democratic Party member to the New York State Assembly.4 As a novice, it was no surprise that he was mostly quiet and secluded to his work. The Al Smith described earlier - a forthright partaker in everything that had to do with common action - was a seemingly different Al Smith when it came to the Assembly. His wit and appealing personality appeared to be lacking confidence, and the other assemblymen hardly thought much of this new member to their council. However, they were unaware that Smith was very much the same person. While spending time contributing to discussions was important, he felt it was obligatory to spend more time dedicating himself to thorough revision of the workings of the State government. For example, Mr. Smith meticulously read the 200-page annual appropriation bill, a requirement of all legislators, every year so that he became familiarized with every piece. Smith's devoted membership to the city's State Assembly greatly assisted him in...

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