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Word Count: 673
During the Gilded Age there was a deep division between American citizens in politics Campaigns were usually an arduous process The results of the majority of the elections were usually very close Although one would expect good presidents to come out of this the majority of them were corrupt and eventually would be forgotten However out of all these presidents Chester Arthur seems to have been the one to be most qualified for the job Chester Arthur took office in September 1881 after President James Garfield had died Although mistrusted at first Arthur proved himself a good political leader The fact that an office seeker killed Garfield put pressure on Arthur to pass some sort of civil service policy From this came about the Pendleton Act which was written by Ohio Senator George Pendleton This act created a bipartisan commission that made examinations for those who wanted government office This act prevented salary increases and assigned federal positions All new employees had to start at the bottom of the government ladder and could only climb up by passing merit examinations This pretty much put an end to the spoils system which did not make the Republicans very happy since they relied on patronage quite often Arthur also made numerous changes in the economy of the US during his presidency One unexpected change was the lowering of tariffs He believed that tariff rates had to be checked routinely in order to provide relief for farmers and middle-class consumers Arthur wanted Congress to grant him a reduction of 20 to 25 percent on tariffs Congress instead passed the Mongrel Tariff Law of 1883 This law dropped rates on a list of items by less than 2 percent This eventually would cause repercussions for the next twenty years From then on Republicans began supporting higher tariffs while Democrats went the other way Another shocking economical change that came about was the limiting of expenditures This came about
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