1897 - 1901
"President William McKinley", our twenty-fifth President was born in Niles, Ohio. President William McKinley's father was an iron founder who made a poor living so that President William McKinley had to leave college early.
At eighteen years of age President William McKinley enlisted in the Army as a private and by the end of the War he had been promoted to "Major William McKinley" for gallant service.
Once home, President William McKinley began to study law. He was admitted to the bar two years later and moved to Canton, Ohio to practice. President William McKinley immediately became interested in politics and made many friends among politicians. In 1871, President William McKinley married "Ida Saxton". President William McKinley and Ida Saxton McKinley had two children.
In 1876, President William McKinley was elected to the House of Representatives, where, except for one term, he stayed until 1891. There President William McKinley led the fight for high tarrifs to protect "infant industries", and the passing of the "McKinley Tariff Bill of 1890" which lost the re-election because of unpopularity.
In Ohio however, President William McKinley was no less popular, and with the help of "Mark Hanna", a rich, powerful businessman, President William McKinley won the "Ohio Governorship in 1891 and again in 1893."
In 1896 President William McKinley was nominated by the Republican Convention to run for President against "William Jennings Bryan". The main issue in the campaign was free silver. William Jennings Bryan urged unlimited coinage of silver, while President William McKinley advocated the gold standard. President William McKinley won easily.
Before President William McKinley took office the American public had become indignant at the "Spanish Governor of Cuba", who, faced with a revolt of repressed Cubans, had herded women and children into concentration camps where they were mistreated.
Many people urged the government to intervene, and President William McKinley tried to keep peace. But in 1898, the "U.S.S. Maine" was blown up in Havanna Harbor, and the resultant cry for revenge persuaded President William McKinley to ask Congress for a Declaration of War.
The"Spanish - American War" lasted for one hundred thirteen days, and at the end, Cuba was freed and the United States had acquired an empire. The "Spanish-held Philippine Islands" had been taken, and Guam and Puerto Rico had become American possessions.
In the 1900 election, William Jennings Bryan dropped the free silver issue and campaigned against the imperialism of the Republicans. President William McKinley, along with future President "Theodore Roosevelt" as his running mate, won handily. With the United States now a world power, President William McKinley moved toward lowered tariffs and freer trade, but he hardly had time to carry out the program.
In early September, 1901 at the "Pan American Exposition of 1901" in Buffalo, New York, President William McKinley was shot by a young anarchist named "Leon Czolgosz". For eight days Medical Physicians labored to save his life, but on September 14, 1901 President William McKinley died and "Vice President Theodore Roosevelt" became President.
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