Define the spoil system.


The spoil system is defined as a specific type of political patronage appeared in the United States that awards committed party supporters with main governmental positions in the case of a party’s election win.


The application of the spoil system may be observed in many nations, however, it currently occurs at a less significant level in comparison with previous times. The term originally occurred in the United States, and the spoil system still remains valid in the country as the president has the ability to promote supporters to certain positions in his administration.

The spoil system was traditionally associated with President Andrew Jackson, who notoriously appointed people on the basis of their loyalty to the Democratic Party and him personally after the election of 1828. According to the president’s supporter, “to the victor belong the spoils,” and the qualification of followers remained inessential.

People began to express their dissatisfaction with political patronage as a government composed of supporters could possess a substantive amount of power, non-presumable by the Constitution. In addition, highly talented people could not get and succeed in suitable governmental positions if they did not demonstrate the commitment to a ruling party.

In the 1930s, the significance of the spoil system was destroyed by a number of legislative acts. In the United States, the assignment to most governmental positions currently aligns with the framework of the civil service. To apply for any job in the president’s administration, a candidate should pass a standard examination.

In case of success, a person will be interviewed and selected for a chosen position on the basis of qualification and merit. Although there are candidates who still get appointments due to campaign assistance and party service, their number is insignificant.

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