the time being, whether Federalists, Whigs, Republicans, or members of ephemeral organizations, like that of the Native Americans, have succeeded in carrying a given election. But their triumph has never been more than momentary; after a very short time the Democracy has invariably returned to power.
The complete Democratic victory in both State and nation, under Clinton and Jefferson, was followed by the definite enthronement of the system of so-called spoils politics in New York; that is, the system according to which public offices are used to reward partisan activity became established as the theory on which politics were conducted, not only by the Democrats, but by Federalists, Whigs, and Republicans, down to the present time,though of late years there has been a determined and partially successful effort to overthrow it. As a matter of fact, politics had had much to do with appointments, even before 1800; but the theory of making purely political appointments had not been openly avowed, and there had been a very real feeling against political removals. Moreover, there had been comparatively little pressure to make these removals. In national affairs the Federalists had been supreme since the constitution was adopted, and so had nobody to remove. When Washington took the Presidency, the citizens were divided on party lines accordingly