The son of a Baptist preacher who had emigrated from northern Eire, Chester A. Arthur was America’s 21st President (1881-85), succeeding President James Garfield upon his assassination.
Dignified, tall, and good-looking, with clean-shaven chin and side-whiskers, Chester A. Arthur “looked like a President.”
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The son of a Baptist preacher who had emigrated from northern Eire, Arthur was born in Fairfield, Vermont, in 1829. He was graduated from Union Faculty in 1848, taught college, was admitted to the bar, and practiced legislation in New York Metropolis. Early in the Civil Warfare he served as Quartermaster Common of the State of New York.
President Grant in 1871 appointed him Collector of the Port of New York. Arthur successfully marshalled the thousand Customs Home staff underneath his supervision on behalf of Roscoe Conkling’s Stalwart Republican machine.
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Honorable in his private life and his public profession, Arthur however was a agency believer in the spoils system when it was coming underneath vehement assault from reformers. He insisted upon sincere administration of the Customs Home, however staffed it with extra staff than it wanted, retaining them for his or her advantage as occasion staff somewhat than as Authorities officers.
In 1878 President Hayes, making an attempt to reform the Customs Home, ousted Arthur. Conkling and his followers tried to win redress by combating for the renomination of Grant at the 1880 Republican Conference. Failing, they reluctantly accepted the nomination of Arthur for the Vice Presidency.
Throughout his temporary tenure as Vice President, Arthur stood firmly beside Conkling in his patronage battle towards President Garfield. However when Arthur succeeded to the Presidency, he was desperate to show himself above machine politics.
Avoiding previous political associates, he turned a person of vogue in his garb and associates, and infrequently was seen with the elite of Washington, New York, and Newport. To the indignation of the Stalwart Republicans, the onetime Collector of the Port of New York turned, as President, a champion of civil service reform. Public strain, heightened by the assassination of Garfield, pressured an unwieldy Congress to heed the President.
In 1883 Congress handed the Pendleton Act, which established a bipartisan Civil Service Fee, forbade levying political assessments towards officeholders, and offered for a “classified system” that made sure Authorities positions obtainable solely by aggressive written examinations. The system protected staff towards elimination for political causes.
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Appearing independently of occasion dogma, Arthur additionally tried to decrease tariff charges so the Authorities wouldn’t be embarrassed by annual surpluses of income. Congress raised about as many charges because it trimmed, however Arthur signed the Tariff Act of 1883. Aggrieved Westerners and Southerners regarded to the Democratic Occasion for redress, and the tariff started to emerge as a serious political concern between the two events.
The Arthur Administration enacted the first common Federal immigration legislation. Arthur permitted a measure in 1882 excluding paupers, criminals, and lunatics. Congress suspended Chinese language immigration for ten years, later making the restriction everlasting.
Arthur demonstrated as President that he was above factions inside the Republican Occasion, if certainly not above the occasion itself. Maybe partially his purpose was the well-kept secret he had recognized since a 12 months after he succeeded to the Presidency, that he was affected by a deadly kidney illness. He stored himself in the operating for the Presidential nomination in 1884 so as to not seem that he feared defeat, however was not renominated, and died in 1886. Writer Alexander Okay. McClure recalled, “No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted, and no one ever retired … more generally respected.”
The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse.gov are from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White Home Historic Affiliation.
Be taught extra about Chester A. Arthur’s partner, Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur.
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