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William McKinley

William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, served from 1897 until his assassination in 1901. His presidency marked…

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William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, served from 1897 until his assassination in 1901. His presidency marked a significant period in American history, characterized by economic growth, the Spanish-American War, and the annexation of overseas territories.

Early Life and Career
Birth: William McKinley was born on January 29, 1843, in Niles, Ohio.
Education: He attended Allegheny College briefly before becoming a teacher. McKinley later studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1867.
Civil War Service: During the Civil War, McKinley served in the Union Army, starting as a private and rising to the rank of brevet major. His military service earned him respect and recognition.
Political Career: After the war, McKinley entered politics. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1877 to 1883 and again from 1885 to 1891. He became known for his expertise in tariff policy and was a staunch advocate of protective tariffs.

Governorship and Presidential Campaign
Governor of Ohio: McKinley served as the Governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896. His tenure as governor was marked by progressive labor reforms and fiscal conservatism.
1896 Presidential Election: McKinley won the Republican nomination for president in 1896. He ran a successful “front porch” campaign from his home in Canton, Ohio, emphasizing economic stability and growth. His campaign manager, Mark Hanna, played a crucial role in his victory. McKinley defeated Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan, who focused on the free silver issue.

Presidency (1897-1901)
Economic Policies: McKinley’s presidency began during a time of economic recovery from the Panic of 1893. His administration passed the Dingley Tariff in 1897, which raised tariffs to protect American industries and foster economic growth.
Spanish-American War: McKinley led the nation during the Spanish-American War in 1898. The war resulted in a swift victory for the United States and marked the country’s emergence as a global power. As a result of the war, the U.S. acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, and established a protectorate over Cuba.
Annexation of Hawaii: In 1898, McKinley signed a resolution to annex Hawaii, adding it as a U.S. territory and further extending American influence in the Pacific.
Open Door Policy: McKinley supported the Open Door Policy, which aimed to ensure equal trading rights for all nations in China and to protect China’s territorial integrity.
Gold Standard Act: In 1900, McKinley signed the Gold Standard Act, which formally placed the U.S. on the gold standard, stabilizing the currency and promoting economic confidence.

Assassination and Legacy
Assassination: On September 6, 1901, McKinley was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz while attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He succumbed to his wounds on September 14, 1901, making him the third U.S. president to be assassinated.
Vice President Theodore Roosevelt: McKinley’s death led to Vice President Theodore Roosevelt assuming the presidency. Roosevelt continued and expanded upon many of McKinley’s policies.
Legacy: McKinley’s presidency is often remembered for its role in transforming the United States into a global power through territorial expansion and military success. His economic policies helped solidify the nation’s industrial base and promote growth. However, his administration also faced criticism for its imperialist actions and the consequences of annexing overseas territories.

Personal Life
Family: McKinley married Ida Saxton in 1871. The couple had two daughters, both of whom died young, which deeply affected them. Ida McKinley suffered from health issues, and William McKinley was known for his devotion and care for her.

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