Unit 13/14 a growing sense of nationhood/ andrew jackson and the growth of american democracy section 1 the era of good feelings



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The Spoils System Jackson’s critics were even more upset by his decision to replace many Republican officeholders with loyal Democrats. Most of these civil servants [civil servant: an employee of the government] viewed their posts as lifetime jobs. Jackson disagreed. Rotating people in office was more democratic than lifetime service, he said, because it gave more people a chance to serve their government. Jackson believed that after a few years in office, civil servants should go back to making a living as other people do.

Jackson’s opponents called the practice of rewarding political supporters with government jobs the spoils system [spoils system: the practice of rewarding political supporters with government jobs] . This term came from the saying “to the victor belong the spoils [prizes] of war.”

Jackson’s opponents also exaggerated the number of Republicans removed from office. Only about 10 percent of civil servants were replaced— and many deserved to be. One official had stolen $10,000 from the Treasury. When he begged Jackson to let him stay, the president said, “I would turn out my own father under the same circumstances




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