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.”