Spoils System (Sociology)

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  • In American politics, this refers to the practice of the leaders of a political party appointing their supporters in jobs as a reward for their work, rather than awarding jobs based on merit. The practice dates back to the early 1800s and was prominent in the political era of policing. The Pendleton Act of 1883 created a Civil Service Commission to evaluate job candidates based on ability rather than party affiliation. President Theodore Roosevelt became known for reinforcing the civil service method at the federal level. The spoils system remained in effect longer at the local level, most famously with the Tammany Hall ring in New York City during the 1930s.

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