West Immigraion

Pendleton Act

  1. Following the assassination of President James A. Garfield by a disgruntled job seeker, Congress passed the Pendleton Act, establishing a merit-based system of selecting government officials and supervising their work. It was signed into law on January 16, 1883, by President Chester A. Arthur, who had become an ardent reformer after Garfield’s assassination.
  2. The Act was sponsored by Senator George H Pendleton, Democratic Senator of Ohio, and written by Dorman Bridgeman Eaton, a staunch opponent of the patronage system who was later first chairman of the United states civil service commission . However, the law would also prove to be a major political liability for Arthur.
  3. The law applied only to federal government jobs, not to the state and local jobs that were the basis for political machines
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