- ›› Keywords : patronage
Glossary Term – Person
Chester A. Arthur (1829–1886) became the twenty-first president of the United States upon the assassination of President James Garfield. Arthur was elected on the Republican ticket as Garfield’s vice president in 1880 and became his successor when Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau in July 1881. During his presidency, Arthur denounced patronage in favor of merit-based government appointments and promotions, supporting the Pendleton Civil Service Act of 1883. He also signed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, suspending Chinese immigration for...
Gordon Wood is Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History at Brown University and the author of The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin. Wood presents an unusual portrait of this celebrated American folk hero, tracing Franklin’s evolution from an ardent supporter of the British Empire to a pivotal leader in the American fight for independence.
In 1807, Aaron Burr was tried and acquitted on charges of treason for his "adventures" in the American West, but he had fallen out of favor in American life long before, after he had run for president against Thomas Jefferson, served a single term as vice president, and shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel. A free spender, a womanizer, and the only Founding Father who was actually descended from the English aristocracy, Burr was famously secretive and conspiratorial. In this lecture, historian Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University, argues that Burr's true treason was not his actions in the West but his naked ambition and his lack of principles and character that made him a threat to the young republic.