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Civil ServiceModeled after the British system of public administration of the 19thcentury, with roots to the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) and the Sung dynasty (960-1279), the US sought a system to curb the 'spoils system' as the government grew.

Initially passed during the Grant administration, the President took little action. However, the scandals of President Grant's administration lent weight to the arguments of persistent personnel reformers George W. Curtis, Dorman B. Eaton, and Carl Schurz. President Hayes favored reform and began, to some text, to use competitive examinations as a basis for appointment to office on the basis of merit and fitness.

Nonetheless, President Garfield's assassination in 1881 by a disappointed office seeker prompted the passage of the Pendleton Act in 1883, reestablishing the Civil Service Commission. The Commission classified all position on government to those covered by merit and fitness and those subject to political appointment. Those who were in the competitive service were to take tests based on merit and fitness.

In 1889, President Benjamin Taylor had a dilemma of seeing his bureaucracy populated by those from previous administrations. Although, he fired about one-third of his bureaucracy, he depended on the Civil Service Commission to supply the government of its workers. Thus, the corner was turned to commit to a merit and fitness system based on the principles and scientific management.

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