A Manual of American Ideas: Designed 1st. for the Use of Schools, 2d. for the Instruction of Foreigners Seeking Naturalization, 3d. for the Use of Citizens (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, 27.11.2017 - 362 Seiten
Excerpt from A Manual of American Ideas: Designed 1st. For the Use of Schools, 2d. For the Instruction of Foreigners Seeking Naturalization, 3d. For the Use of Citizens

The two ideas above referred to as undergoing recent change, relate to the methods of appointment to office, and to foreign immigration. The movement known as Civil Service Reform has taken the shape of Federal law, and may be said to have now supplanted the old idea expressed in Art. VIII of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights - at least so far as subordinate executive officers are concerned. A cen tury ago, while the impressions left on the colonial mind by the aris tocratic institutions of England were yet fresh, there was reason to fear that long continuance in office might result in the formation of a permanent governing class. But population was then sparse, and the duties of office so few and simple that almost any one could perform them respectably. How different now, when long practice, preceded by good education are absolutely necessary for the satisfactory dispatch of our enormous public business: when wholesale and frequent changes in the clerical service, would be fatal to the best interests of the country: and when the practice of the Jacksonian maxim, to the victors belong the spoils, has for several decades filled all offices with professional politicians as a reward for corrupt party service, and with but small regard to the honesty or efficiency of the appointees. We now confine the changes made by elections in the Federal Execu tive to the heads of departments only, while all subordinates hold their places during good behavior: and new appointments are required to be made after examination as to character, education, and fit ness for the place, but without regard to party politics a consum mation devoutly to be wished.

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