The purpose of the bureaucracy is to successfully organize the government in more specialized
departments and agencies to make the government run more efficient. They also got rid of the spoils
system that was popular during the Jacksonian Era by using the merit principle of getting jobs because of
hard work and tenure.
Andrew Jackson was seen as the first president that really started using the spoils system. This
system ran on the ideal that if a person helped out the president or anyone running for a political position,
the winner of the office would in turn award them a place in their office. This was unfair because often
times, the people weren’t even qualified to take the position. The bureaucracy has helped to limit it
because it makes people take merit tests so to see if the workers are truly qualified for the job.
The civil service is a system of hiring people using the merit principle. Workers have to take entrance
exams so that they can have workers that are competent in skills and talent. That way, things run much
smoother in the government.
Although there has been a real push to incorporate historically disadvantaged groups into the
bureaucracy, women and non-whites are still towards the bottom of the spectrum in population. For the
most part, the workers are white and middle aged men. They average 47 years in age, with 55% being
male, 69% white but only 41% being college graduates.
Departments of State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor,
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Energy, Education,
Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security. Every head of the department is called the Secretary of (Department
name) except for the Department of Justice which is headed by the attorney general.
An independent regulatory agency has a responsibility for some part of the economy. They also
create and enforce laws that would serve for the public good. Examples are the: Federal Reserve Board-
govern banks, Federal Communications Commission- Radio and TV, and the Securities and Exchange