Skip to main content
Select Source:

Pork Barrel

PORK BARREL

PORK BARREL. Pork barrel politics consist of trying to obtain appropriations for one's own district. Politicians consider fighting for their constituents' best interests virtuous, but fiscal conservatives, claiming the practice has led to unnecessary investments at taxpayers' expense, use the term in a derogatory manner. "Pork barrel" originally referred to American slaves' rushed attempts to obtain some of the pork given to them as a group in large barrels. The term entered the political vocabulary after the Civil War. Harbor and river improvements were classic examples of pork, later surpassed by defense contracts and highway construction.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ferejohn, John A. Pork Barrel Politics: Rivers and Harbors Legislation, 1947–1968. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1974.

Philippe R.Girard

See alsoConservatism ; Interstate Highway System ; Veto, Line-Item .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Pork Barrel." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Pork Barrel." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pork-barrel

"Pork Barrel." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pork-barrel

pork barrel

pork bar·rel • n. inf. the use of government funds for projects designed to please voters or legislators and win votes: political pork barrel for the benefit of their respective sponsors | [as adj.] wasteful, pork-barrel spending. DERIVATIVES: pork-bar·rel·ing n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pork barrel." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pork barrel." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pork-barrel-0

"pork barrel." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pork-barrel-0

pork barrel

pork barrel in North America, used in reference to the use of government funds for projects designed to please voters or legislators and win votes. The term, which is recorded from the early 20th century in this sense, refers to the use of such a barrel by farmers, to keep a reserve supply of meat.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"pork barrel." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pork barrel." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pork-barrel

"pork barrel." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pork-barrel