Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
ALBANY REGENCY, The (IN
—About 1819-20, when the system of nominating conventions began to be used, the regency began to be recognized as a political factor, and as the business of nominations was further abandoned to these smaller and irresponsible bodies the regency obtained progressively a stronger control over the conventions and thus over the action of the party. This control was not necessarily obtained by corrupt means. Those delegates to the conventions who were ambitious of office were controlled by the knowledge that the regency never forgot or forgave insubordination or rebellion, and never forgot or abandoned a friend who had suffered in its service; the great mass of delegates were controlled by the conspicuous success which usually followed a deference to the discreet and experienced politicians who composed the regency. In this way, and, in emergencies, by a judicious use of the State printing and other contracts, the Albany regency (so called from the fact that its members lived at the capital of the state) continued to reward its friends, punish its enemies, control the party, and keep New York generally democratic, until its opponents in great measure accepted its machinery and overthrew it by its own methods. This last result, however, was much assisted by the split in the New York democratic party in 1848 (see
—See 2 Hammond's Political History of New York, 157, 429; Hammond's Life of Silas Wright; 2 von Holst's United States, 21; Mackenzie's Lives of Butler and Hoyt; Mackenzie's Life of Van Buren, 29, 168; Sedgwick's Political Writings of Leggett.
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