✎✎✎ The Federal Bureaucracy: Merit System Analysis

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The Federal Bureaucracy: Merit System Analysis

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The Federal BUREAUCRACY [AP Gov Review Unit 2 Topic 12 (2.12)]

Credited with being the father of the science of public administration, von Stein opened the path of administrative enlightenment for other scholars in industrialized nations. In the early U. This is understandable since the American Revolution was largely a revolt against executive power and the British imperial administrative order. For example, Article II , Section 2, provides the president the power to appoint officers and department heads.

Granting the president and Congress such responsibilities appears to anticipate a bureaucracy of some size. Under President George Washington , the bureaucracy remained small enough to accomplish only the necessary tasks at hand. The employees within these three departments, in addition to the growing postal service, constituted the major portion of the federal bureaucracy for the first three decades of the republic. Two developments, however, contributed to the growth of the bureaucracy well beyond these humble beginnings.

The cabinet of President George Washington far left consisted of only four individuals: the secretary of war Henry Knox, left , the secretary of the treasury Alexander Hamilton, center , the secretary of state Thomas Jefferson, right , and the attorney general Edmund Randolph, far right. The small size of this group reflected the small size of the U.

The first development was the rise of centralized party politics in the s. Under President Andrew Jackson, many thousands of party loyalists filled the ranks of the bureaucratic offices around the country. This was the beginning of the spoils system , in which political appointments were transformed into political patronage doled out by the president on the basis of party loyalty. Political patronage is the use of state resources to reward individuals for their political support. This system served to enforce party loyalty by tying the livelihoods of the party faithful to the success or failure of the party. The number of federal posts the president sought to use as appropriate rewards for supporters swelled over the following decades.

The second development was industrialization, which in the late nineteenth century significantly increased both the population and economic size of the United States. These changes in turn brought about urban growth in a number of places across the East and Midwest. Railroads and telegraph lines drew the country together and increased the potential for federal centralization. The government and its bureaucracy were closely involved in creating concessions for and providing land to the western railways stretching across the plains and beyond the Rocky Mountains.

These changes set the groundwork for the regulatory framework that emerged in the early twentieth century. Patronage had the advantage of putting political loyalty to work by making the government quite responsive to the electorate and keeping election turnout robust because so much was at stake. However, the spoils system also had a number of obvious disadvantages. It was a reciprocal system.

Clients who wanted positions in the civil service pledged their political loyalty to a particular patron who then provided them with their desired positions. These arrangements directed the power and resources of government toward perpetuating the reward system. Caption: It was under President Ulysses S. Grant, shown in this engraving being sworn in by Chief Justice Samuel P. Chase at his inauguration in a , that the inefficiencies and opportunities for corruption embedded in the spoils system reached their height.

Grant was famously loyal to his supporters, a characteristic that—combined with postwar opportunities for corruption—created scandal in his administration. This political cartoon from b , nearly half a century after Andrew Jackson was elected president, ridicules the spoils system that was one of his legacies. In , after the election of James Garfield, a disgruntled former supporter of his, the failed lawyer Charles J. Guiteau, shot him in the back. Guiteau pictured in this cartoon of the time had convinced himself he was due an ambassadorship for his work in electing the president. The assassination awakened the nation to the need for civil service reform. As the negative aspects of political patronage continued to infect bureaucracy in the late nineteenth century, calls for civil service reform grew louder.

Those supporting the patronage system held that their positions were well earned; those who condemned it argued that federal legislation was needed to ensure jobs were awarded on the basis of merit. Eventually, after President James Garfield had been assassinated by a disappointed office seeker, Congress responded to cries for reform with the Pendleton Act , also called the Civil Service Reform Act of As an active member and leader of the Progressive movement, President Woodrow Wilson is often considered the father of U. Born in Virginia and educated in history and political science at Johns Hopkins University, Wilson became a respected intellectual in his fields with an interest in public service and a profound sense of moralism. He was named president of Princeton University, became president of the American Political Science Association, was elected governor of New Jersey, and finally was elected the twenty-eighth president of the United States in It was through his educational training and vocational experiences that Wilson began to identify the need for a public administration discipline.

He felt it was getting harder to run a constitutional government than to actually frame one. Therefore, administrative activities should be devoid of political manipulations. Wilson advocated separating politics from administration by three key means: making comparative analyses of public and private organizations, improving efficiency with business-like practices, and increasing effectiveness through management and training. Rather, the bureaucracy should act with a sense of vigor to understand and appreciate public opinion. Still, Wilson acknowledged that the separation of politics from administration was an ideal and not necessarily an achievable reality.

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were a time of great bureaucratic growth in the United States: The Interstate Commerce Commission was established in , the Federal Reserve Board in , the Federal Trade Commission in , and the Federal Power Commission in With the onset of the Great Depression in , the United States faced record levels of unemployment and the associated fall into poverty, food shortages, and general desperation. When the Republican president and Congress were not seen as moving aggressively enough to fix the situation, the Democrats won the election in overwhelming fashion. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the U. In the s, the federal bureaucracy grew with the addition of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to protect and regulate U.

Additional programs and institutions emerged with the Social Security Administration in and then, during World War II, various wartime boards and agencies. By , approximately , U. Johnson in the s, that number reached 2. Volunteers in Service to America was a type of domestic Peace Corps intended to relieve the effects of poverty. Johnson also directed more funding to public education, created Medicare as a national insurance program for the elderly, and raised standards for consumer products. All of these new programs required bureaucrats to run them, and the national bureaucracy naturally ballooned. Its size became a rallying cry for conservatives, who eventually elected Ronald Reagan president for the express purpose of reducing the bureaucracy.

While Reagan was able to work with Congress to reduce some aspects of the federal bureaucracy, he contributed to its expansion in other ways, particularly in his efforts to fight the Cold War. The two periods of increased bureaucratic growth in the United States, the s and the s, accomplished far more than expanding the size of government. They transformed politics in ways that continue to shape political debate today.

This branch includes Congress the Senate and House of Representatives and special agencies and offices that provide support services to Congress. American citizens have the right to vote for Senators and Representatives through free, confidential ballots. The executive branch carries out and enforces laws. It includes the president, vice president, the Cabinet, executive departments, independent agencies, and other boards, commissions, and committees. American citizens have the right to vote for the president and vice president through free, confidential ballots.

Much of the work in the executive branch is done by federal agencies, departments, committees, and other groups. The Executive Office of the president communicates the president's message and deals with the federal budget, security, and other high priorities. These are the main agencies of the federal government. The heads of these 15 agencies are also members of the president's cabinet. These agencies are not represented in the cabinet and are not part of the Executive Office of the president.

They deal with government operations, the economy, and regulatory oversight. Congress or the president establish these smaller organizations to manage specific tasks and areas that don't fall under parent agencies. Although they're not officially part of the executive branch, these agencies are required by federal statute to release certain information about their programs and activities in the Federal Register , the daily journal of government activities.

The judicial branch interprets the meaning of laws, applies laws to individual cases, and decides if laws violate the Constitution. It is comprised of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. The Justices of the Supreme Court are nominated by the president and must be approved by the Senate. The Constitution gives Congress the authority to establish other federal courts to handle cases that involve federal laws including tax and bankruptcy, lawsuits involving U.

Other federal judicial agencies and programs support the courts and research judicial policy. Appointments for Supreme Court Justices and other federal judgeships follow the same basic process:. Learn how cases reach the Supreme Court and how the justices make their decisions. Use this lesson plan in class. View a larger version of the infographic. An appeal is a request for a higher court to reverse the decision of a lower court. Most appeals come from federal courts. They can come from state courts if a case deals with federal law. Dissatisfied parties petition the Court for review Parties may appeal their case to the Supreme Court, petitioning the Court to review the decision of the lower court.

Justices study documents The Justices examine the petition and supporting materials. Justices vote Four Justices must vote in favor for a case to be granted review. Parties make arguments The Justices review the briefs written arguments and hear oral arguments.

Nevertheless, The Federal Bureaucracy: Merit System Analysis believed The Federal Bureaucracy: Merit System Analysis form of governance compared poorly to representative government, as it relied on appointment rather than direct election. Donald Trump. The fully developed bureaucratic apparatus compares with other organisations exactly as does the machine The Federal Bureaucracy: Merit System Analysis the The Federal Bureaucracy: Merit System Analysis modes of production. The Struggle Of Power In John Updikes A & P the proposed Prime Minister a credible person?

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