What was the spoils system in US History?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term "spoils system" is most commonly associated with Andrew Jackson.  It refers to the practice of giving government jobs to people because of who they supported for high office, not because of what kinds of qualifications they have.  President Jackson is associated with this because he was the first president to appoint mostly political supporters of his to government jobs.  The term "spoils system" came to be used because of the idea that "to the victors go the spoils."  The government jobs were seen as spoils that were to be distributed to the people who supported the winning candidate.