James A. Garfield's Presidency

Start Free Trial

How did the Pendleton Civil Service Act reform the civil service in America?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The basic way in which the Pendleton Act did this was by removing politics from the civil service.  In the time before the Pendleton Act, government jobs were simply given out based on political consideration.  Government workers were hired not for their abilities and skills but because of their political...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The basic way in which the Pendleton Act did this was by removing politics from the civil service.  In the time before the Pendleton Act, government jobs were simply given out based on political consideration.  Government workers were hired not for their abilities and skills but because of their political affiliations and connections.  What the Pendleton Act did was to stop this practice.  After the Act was passed, government officials were to be hired based on merit.  The way to determine who actually was qualified for a job was to require all applicants to take examinations in which they would be competing for the highest scores.  The highest scores would get the jobs.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team