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In the USA, a faction of conservative Republicans led by Roscoe Conkling (1829–88) during the Presidency (1877–81) of Rutherford Hayes. They supported the spoils system, but opposed both the final ending of Reconstruction in the South (Reconstruction Acts), symbolized by the withdrawal of Federal troops in 1877, and any reform of the Civil Service. In 1880 they sought a third term for former President Grant, but failed. They dubbed their opponents, the anti-Grant wing of the Republican Party, the “Half-Breeds”. Led in Congress by James Blaine, the Half-Breeds succeeded in getting their candidate Garfield elected in 1880. The nickname “Stalwart” was dropped after President Garfield was shot (July 1881) by a Stalwart who had been disappointed in his pursuit of office. A direct result of this tragedy was the Pendleton Act in 1883, which sought to make entry into the service dependent on merit rather than on reward.

Subjects: World History.

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