Civil Service Reform under Cleveland

President Grover Cleveland was inclined to follow the example of his predecessor, Chester Arthur. He also was lobbied heavily by good-government groups who wanted to establish merit as the basis for appointments and promotions. However, the Democratic political professionals, out of power for 24 years, were anxious to throw as many Republicans as possible out of office.

Cleveland gradually gave in to his party's demands, but in the process managed to anger all sides.

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History Files - Parades, Protests and Politics
The 1884 Democratic National Convention Cheering the nomination of Grover Cleveland at the 1884 Democratic National Convention. (CHS) The Democrats met in Chicago one month after the Republican convention nominated James Blaine. The convention ...
http://www.chicagohs.org/history/politics/1884a.html

SparkNotes: The Gilded Age & the Progressive Era (1877–1917): Gilded Age Politics: 1877–1892
... nominated Half-Breed James Blaine of Maine, while Democrats nominated Governor Grover Cleveland of New York. The Democratic Party accused Blaine of conspiring with wealthy plutocrats to win the White House, while Republicans attacked ...
http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/gildedage/section1.html

The presidential election of Grover Cleveland
... admired his conduct as Mayor and Governor, and for his professed devotion to civil service reform. These Republicans were called "Mugwumps," and the term was considered one of reproach. The electoral vote stood: Cleveland, 219; Blaine, 182 ...
http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/The_Great_Republic_By_the_M ...

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