Civil Service Reform under Cleveland

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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.