Definition of spoils system in English:

spoils system


  • The practice of a successful political party giving public office to its supporters.

    • ‘What some see as redress for past injustices, others see as the creation of a racial spoils system that could treat neighbors differently depending on whether or not they have a drop of native blood.’
    • ‘The whole exercise is probably the biggest exercise of the spoils system in the history of the world.’
    • ‘The first civil-service protections were created in response to widespread abuses during the decades after the Civil War, when the spoils system reigned and presidents stuffed the bureaucracy with their political cronies.’
    • ‘And it would fuel the wholesome revolt against the racial and ethnic spoils system that depends upon racial and ethnic categorizations.’
    • ‘Once ensconced in office, he defied many Republican benefactors and largely declined to take part in the spoils system of the day.’
    • ‘But it divided the insiders from those who received nothing from the spoils system: the socialists, the democrats, and the conservatives.’
    • ‘The old spoils system returned, along with extravagant public expenses.’
    • ‘After the Civil War, reformers grew increasingly critical of the spoils system.’
    • ‘Urban government today is a taxpayer-financed spoils system that offers jobs, contracts, favors, and other perks to the well-connected.’
    • ‘Jackson's embrace of the spoils system bolstered his power further.’
    • ‘He was an early practitioner of the spoils system, filling offices with supporters and driving out enemies.’
    • ‘You could, of course, go all the way back to what used to be called the spoils system: Party A wins, fires everybody, gives all the jobs to its party hacks; Party B wins, fires the A hacks, gives the jobs to its own and so on.’
    • ‘This has elements in common with a spoils system since these advisors can wield considerable power within 10 Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and other departments of state.’
    • ‘He replaced many government officials on partisan grounds, inaugurating the so-called spoils system.’
    • ‘But increasingly, the trade associations and their corporate representatives - those firms run by Republicans - are the beneficiaries of Washington's new spoils system.’
    • ‘On the other hand, if it all goes wrong, he might turn out to be just one more erratic autocrat relying on nationalist rhetoric and the spoils system to stay in power.’


spoils system