The practice by a winning party of awarding government jobs to its members


Spoils system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In United States politics, a spoils system refers to an informal practice by which a party after winning an election gives government jobs to its supporters as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party. The term was derived from the phrase 'to the victor go the spoils.' It is opposed to a system of awarding offices on the basis of some measure of merit independent of political activity. ..."


Bureaucracy and the Civil Service in the United States, by Murray N. Rothbard, Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1995
Historical account of the evolution of the United States Civil Service and attempts to reform it, from its beginnings through the early 20th century
"The 'spoils system,' a derogatory term for rotation in administrative office, was brought to the United States by President Andrew Jackson. ... he removed 252 out of 610 presidential class employees ... Whigs ... abandoned their principles ... Harrison and Tyler Administrations ousting fully fifty percent of the presidential class officials."