“To the victor go the spoils”

Posted on July 9, 2015


What has a 19th century New York Senator to do with James Bond?

Well, I’ll tWilliamLMarcy022ell you.
There is a quote from Bond villain Alec Trevelyan (Sean Bean) or Janus in “GoldenEye” when he is trying demonstrate his power to Natalya (Izabella Scorupco) on the train. He says “To the victor go the spoils” as he thinks that Bond has lost, and he has won Natalya as some sort of bounty and is now looking for a conquest.
The line is just not random words, there is a reference to it.

Actually a bit misqouted as it famously reads “To the victor belongs the spoils”.
On the other hand if we would read the entire quote it would say: “They see nothing wrong in the rule, that to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.”

So, this quote is derived from a debate in the US congress January 25, 1832 and were the words of New York Senator William L. Marcy (1786 – 1857). He was defending president Andrew Jackson’s nomination of Martin van Buren as Minister to the United Kingdom. His remark was made famous as the “spoils system” a sort of patronage, or corruption if you will.
It means that the victorious party of an election is expected to appoint officials and government jobs to their supporters, friends and allies.
spoils andrew jackson

Posted in: GoldenEye