The Pendleton Act was passed to create a Civil Service system in the U.S. I believe the death of Garfield motivated the Congress to pass this.
Before the Pendleton Act government jobs were given out as a thank you to supporters of whomever won the presidential election. This led to bias, and to the appointment of incompetent people in government. The Pendleton Act was the beginning of the Federal Civil Service, which gave the job based on merit and ability to do the job.
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