Presidential Image Gallery

Era of Transition

September 20, 1881
Source: The Library of Congress

Defying his state-based reputation as a slick machine politician, Chester Arthur signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act in 1883.  The Act would eventually weaken the grip of traditional ethnic and party loyalties.  Arthur's willingness to embrace reform defines him as an important transitional figure in the reunification of the nation after the bitter turmoil of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

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