The power of political machines declined during which period?
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Larger cities in the United States—Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis—were accused of using political machines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time "cities experienced rapid growth under inefficient government". Each city's machine lived under a hierarchical system with a "boss" who held the allegiance of local business leaders, elected officials and their appointees, and who knew the proverbial buttons to push to get things done. Benefits and problems both resulted from the rule of political machines.