Spoils-system



noun
1.
the system or practice in which public offices with their emoluments and advantages are at the disposal of the victorious party for its own purposes.
spoils system
noun
1.
(mainly US) the practice of filling appointive public offices with friends and supporters of the ruling political party Compare merit system

spoils system definition

The practice of appointing applicants to public offices as a reward for their loyalty to the political party in power. The term comes from a statement by a senator in the 1830s: “To the victor belong the spoils.” Reform of the system commenced in the 1880s with the introduction of merit as the basis of appointment to office. (See James A. Garfield, machine politics, and patronage.)

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