The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, or the Pendleton Act, states that U.S. Government employees should be hired on merit and not political reasons. It was passed in 1883 after President James Garfield was assassinated by a disgruntled job seeker.Continue Reading
Before the Pendleton Act, which did not apply to state and local governments, was passed, government employees were often chosen based on ties to politicians or their political affiliation. The act changed this system and replaced it with a system of competitive exams. The act also made it illegal for government employees to have their employment terminated or receive a demotion for political reasons. The United States Civil Service Commission was created to help enforce the new merit system.
George Washington made the most of his appointments for the government based on merit. By the time Andrew Jackson was elected in 1828, however, many government positions were being filled by friends and political supporters of the president. In the years after Jackson left office, the system's flaws and abuses became an issue due to a substantial increase in government jobs and the skills needed to perform more specialized work.
Today, the Pendleton Act applies to around 90 percent of the 2.7 million employees of the federal government.Learn more about US History
The British 1765 Stamp Act, a law that taxed all printed papers and stamped them "paid," was a major trigger for the American Revolution, according to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Colonists found this tax to be unfair because, for the first time, the British government was taxing them to raise money instead of as a form of commercial regulation.Full Answer >
The purpose of the British Tea Act of 1773 was to provide economic support to the failing East India Company by allowing it to sell its overstocked tea directly to American colonists. Contrary to popular belief, this legislature did not propose any new taxes to the colonists.Full Answer >
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is known as the Fair Housing Act. It prohibits discrimination by housing providers against individuals based on disability, familial status, national origin, race or color, religion or sex.Full Answer >
The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, named after its author Sen. John Sherman, protected consumers from the efforts of trusts, cartels and monopolies to unfairly restrain trade. Its aim was to preserve economic competition in the marketplace, and it imposed severe penalties on those violating the legislation.Full Answer >