Free Civic Studies Lesson 11: The Office-Holder

Free Civic Studies Lesson 11: The Office-Holder

Free Civic Studies Lesson 11: The Office-Holder

Read the current chapter online: “The Office-Holder”

  • Compare the number of government workers mentioned in the book with the number in recent years.
  • Calculate the percent increase in the number of government workers since 1900. What percent increase is that on average per year?
  • Make a list of the number of employees per department today. Also see pg. 9 of this Congressional Research Report.
  • Read more about women postmasters.
  • Create a chart showing the increase in the number of federal employees beginning in 1802 using the statistics on pg. 167. Include the numbers for today.
  • At the time the book was written, the number of federal employees was 1 in every 330. What is it today?
  • At the time the book was written, the total cost federal employees were paid was in the millions. What is it today?
  • View the list of official U.S. Embassies.
  • Learn more about Nathaniel Hawthorne, former United States Consul at Liverpool.
  • Learn more about Washington Irving, American Minister to the Court of Spain.
  • Learn more about James Russell Lowell, U. S. Minister to Spain.
  • The United States Civil Service Commission was dissolved in 1979. Many of its responsibilities are now handled by the Office of Personnel Management, which is part of the Office of Management and Budget.
  • Read Senator Marcy’s full quote.
  • Learn more about the Spoils System.
  • Provide a narration explaining nepotism.
  • Read the Civil Service Act of 1883.
  • There is no longer a single Civil Service Exam that covers all federal jobs. See how well you do on a sampling of a 1955 Civil Service Exam.
  • Explore the United States Mint Buildings across the nation.
  • Explore the nation’s lighthouses.
  • On pg. 175, the author states:

    We shall never, I am sure, have a foreign war.

    In 1894, when the book was written, we had not yet gone through World War I or World War II. Make a list of the reasons the author uses to back up his statement on pg. 175, and add your own conclusions as to why those reasons listed did not keep us from being involved in a foreign war.

  • Copy the poem, “What Constitutes a State,” into your copybook.
  • Create a flip book to define the four words the author uses on pg. 176 to describe those who are worthy to be called Americans
  • Have some ice cream!

Learn why United States people are called Americans:

Citizens of the United States often call their land America and themselves Americans….

The practice arose more than a century and a half ago, when the United States was the only independent nation on the Western Hemisphere. The complete official name of the country, the United States of America, was too long for everyday common use, so the shorter form, America, became accepted.

As for the people, it would not sound well to call them “United Statesans,” so the name Americans was generally used.

“Why are Untied States People Called Americans?” from The Book of Knowledge


Additional Resources

Theodore Roosevelt
Considered the “undisputed father of Federal Service.”

Office of Management and Budget
The five processes it carries out.

Office of Personnel Management Directors
Since the Pendleton Act.

Rotation in Office and the Spoils System
More from the Miller Center.



Discovering Diplomacy
Interactive that explores American embassies across the world.

Jackson and the Spoils System
Video from Khan Academy. (You may want to install an ad blocker before viewing.)


Centuries of Citizenship
Interactive constitutional timeline.

Responsibility Launcher
Interactive game from iCivics for younger students.


Units & Lesson Plans

Your Government and You
Civics download Teacher’s Guide with quiz from the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department. You’ll also want the Student Handout and Answer Key.

Citizenship in the Nation
Merit badge worksheet.


Notebooking Pages & Printables

Where Do State and Local Government Employees Work?
Download for notebook from the Census Bureau.

The Office-Holder Notebooking Pages
Our free and simple notebooking pages for copywork, narrations, dictations, or wrapping up.


Enjoy the entire series:

Free Civics Studies