Rutherford B. Hayes brought about civil service reforms as the President in order to end the use of the spoils system for the appointment of civil servants. Hayes was a believer in a meritocracy and believed that all people, regardless of race, should be rewarded based on their abilities. He decided that civil servants should be required to take an examination and their results would be used to determine who was appointed to various posts. Most of Hayes's reforms were accomplished through the use of Executive Orders as he was unable to gain significant support from Congress for a meritocratic appointment process. Hayes also sought to root out corruption in the postal service by refusing to renew star route contracts.
Hayes also recalled federal troops from southern states and essentially ended the Reconstruction Era through a compromise that allowed him to obtain the Presidency.