Chester A. Arthur

Presidential Leaders Series

When Chester Arthur became president of the United States, shortly after James Garfield died in 1881, he was known for his corrupt New York politics. He was a stylish, wealthy lawyer who had made his money selling and collecting fines on illegal imports as a customs official. But Arthur realized the magnitude of his new responsibility as president. He worked for changes that would improve the lives of all Americans: supporting legislation to strengthen the navy and signing the Pendleton Civil Service Act, which reformed the corrupt system for hiring federal workers. Arthur never sought reelection, but his reform to honesty and integrity in politics surprised his public and left the lasting legacy of a fairer system of government.

Reading Level: Grade 7
For ages 11 and older
ISBN: 0-8225-1512-1

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