Charles Julius Guiteau

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Guiteau

Charles Julius Guiteau (1841-1882) was a man who shot President James A. Garfield on July 2, 1881. Garfield died three months later. Guiteau had been seeking appointment to a government job such as an ambassadorship under the Spoils System currently in place, and after not receiving one from Garfield, shot him. This led to the creation of the United States Civil Service Commission to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Guiteau was hanged in Washington D.C. on June 30, 1882.

Robert Spencer notes that the Administrative State can be traced to Guiteau as the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed the following year as a result of the assassination.[1] Within a little over a decade of the passage of the Pendleton Act, would see the introduction of the Progressive Era, America's long-standing and ill-fated experiment with Big Government. Civil service reform was an important foundational element in the coming progressive movement.

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