Notable Stalwarts include Roscoe Conkling and Thomas C. Platt, who were in favor of Ulysses S. Grant, the eighteenth President of the United States (1869–1877), running for a third term. They were the "traditional" Republicans who opposed Rutherford B. Hayes' civil service reform. They were pitted against the "Half-Breeds" (moderates) for control of the Republican Party. The only real issue between Stalwarts and Half-Breeds was patronage. The Half-Breeds worked to get civil service reform, and finally created the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act. Stalwarts also favored traditional machine politics.
Chester A. Arthur, sympathetic to the Stalwart cause, was the vice president for Half-Breed James A. Garfield. He became president after Garfield was assassinated by the self-proclaimed "Stalwart of the Stalwarts" Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881. Arthur helped to create civil service reforms in his term in part because he felt that he had to follow up Garfield's work.