\spˈɔ͡ɪlz sˈɪstəm], \spˈɔɪlz sˈɪstəm], \s_p_ˈɔɪ_l_z s_ˈɪ_s_t_ə_m]\
Definitions of SPOILS SYSTEM
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The system of partisan use of the offices, as a means of rewarding those who have worked for the election of the appointer and of punishment for those who have not, was earlier developed in New York and Pennsylvania than elsewhere, largely because of the existence in those States of a large body of apathetic non-English voters. In New York the ill-devised council of appointment had much to do with the growth of the system, and so had Aaron Burr. In the Federal Government, Jefferson carried out the system to a considerable extent. The Act of 1820 prescribing a four-years' term for many officers favored its growth. Finally, the politicians who surrounded Jackson brought it to its full development as an engine of party warfare. It has since been a regular reature of American politics in every administration, tempered of late by the provisions of the Civil Service Act of 1883. The phrase was derived from a statement of Senator W.L. Marcy, of New York, in a speech in the Senate in 1832. Speaking of the New York politicians, he said: "They see nothing wrong in the rule that to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy."
By John Franklin Jameson
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