They Vote Only for the Spoils: Massachusetts Reformers, Suffrage Restriction, and the 1884 Civil Service Law1

  title={They Vote Only for the Spoils: Massachusetts Reformers, Suffrage Restriction, and the 1884 Civil Service Law1},
  author={Edward H. Miller},
  journal={The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era},
  pages={341 - 363}
  • E. Miller
  • Published 1 July 2009
  • History
  • The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
This essay examines why Richard Henry Dana III and other Boston reformers supported the Massachusetts civil service law of 1884, an even stronger measure than the federal Pendleton Act of 1883. Historians have uncovered two purposes behind civil service reform. First, reform limited the “spoils system” and curtailed the power of political parties. Second, reform increased efficiency in government. This essay argues that restricting the suffrage of Irish laborers was another purpose. Therefore… 



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