William McKinley

William McKinley

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William McKinley

At the 1896 Republican convention, in time of depression, the wealthy Cleveland businessman Marcus Alonzo Hanna ensured the nomination of his friend William McKinley as the “the advance agent of prosperity.” The Democrats, advocating the “free and unlimited coinage of both silver and gold” — which would have mildly inflated the currency-nominated William Jennings Bryan.

While Hanna amassed large contributions from eastern Republicans frightened by Bryan’s views on silver, McKinley met delegations on his front porch in Canton, Ohio. He won a decisive victory over the Democratic candidate.

Born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio, McKinley briefly attended Allegheny College, and was teaching in a country school when the Civil War broke out. Enlisting as a private in the Union Army, he rose through the ranks to brevet major, serving on Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes' staff. After the war, he studied law, opened an office in Canton, Ohio, and married Ida Saxton, daughter of a local banker. The couple had two daughters, Katherine and Ida, but neither reached adulthood.

At age 34, McKinley began his first of seven terms in the House of Representatives. His attractive personality, exemplary character, and quick intelligence enabled him to rise rapidly. He was appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Robert M. La Follette Sr., who served with him, recalled that he generally “represented the newer view,” and “on the great new questions . . . was generally on the side of the public and against private interests.” During his 14 years in the House, he became the leading Republican tariff expert, lending his name to the legislation enacted in 1890. The next year he was elected governor of Ohio, serving two terms.

When McKinley became president, the Panic of 1893 had almost run its course and with it the extreme agitation over silver. Deferring action on the money question, he called Congress into special session to enact the highest tariff in history.

In the business friendly atmosphere of the McKinley administration, industries and companies developed at an unprecedented pace. Newspapers caricatured McKinley as a little boy led around by “Nursie” Hanna, the representative of the trusts. However, McKinley was not controlled by Hanna he condemned the trusts as “dangerous conspiracies against the public good.”

Foreign policy came to dominate McKinley's first term in office. Spain's repressive rule over Cuba resulted in rebellion, followed by a brutal campaign to cease hostilities on the island. American businesses and individuals lobbied for the United States to intervene, as they not only had investments in Cuba but also visions for something more. McKinley later sent the USS Maine to protect American interests on February 15, 1898, there was an explosion aboard the ship that killed 266 crew members. With no other diplomatic recourse, McKinley asked Congress to declare war, which it did on April 25, 1898. In about 100 days' time, the United States defeated Spain.

The Paris Peace Treaty was signed on December 10, 1898. The United States received Guam and Puerto Rico, paid $20 million for the Philippine Islands, and promised to support an independent Cuba while occupying it for the time being. Earlier that year, Congress had also voted to support the annexation of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. All of these measures were supported by McKinley, now considered the architect of the modern American empire. While these actions enhanced American clout on the international stage and offered new opportunities for trade and economic development, not all populations were grateful for the American efforts. In the Philippines, nationalist leader Emilio Aguinaldo revolted against the Americans for three years, arguing that they were colonizers just like the Spanish. The conflict resulted in the deaths of more than 5,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Filipinos, who died from fighting, famine, or disease.

In 1900, McKinley again campaigned against Bryan. While Bryan inveighed against imperialism, McKinley quietly stood for “the full dinner pail.” His second term, which had begun auspiciously, came to a tragic end in September 1901. He was standing in a receiving line at the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition when an anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot him twice. He died eight days later on September 14, 1901.

Maj. William McKinley

In the foggy morning hour of 5 o'clock on Oct. 19, 1864, William McKinley and his Union troops were groggily having some breakfast in their camp along Cedar Creek near Middletown, Va. The future 25th president was a commander in the 2nd Div., 8th Cavalry and a passionate supporter of the Union cause.

Then the Confederate divisions under the command of Gen. John B. Gordon charged out of the fog. During the attack, McKinley’s horse was shot out from under him, leaving the young Ohioan pinned to the ground. Freed, McKinley limped back to the action, and narrowly escaped capture as he tried to rally his troops.

The Union forces were quickly overrun, and the 8th Cavalry retreated to the north end of the battlefield. However, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan made a hard, fast ride from the capital to his embattled troops and rallied his men in a counterattack. By Oct. 24, the Battle of Cedar Creek had turned into a Union victory — one that would help President Abraham Lincoln in his campaign for a second term of office.

McKinley had begun his Civil War service by enlisting as a private in the 23rd regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. After he bravely brought food to troops under fire at 1862's Battle of Antietam, he was promoted to second lieutenant. By war’s end, he had become a brevet major in the volunteers. For the rest of his life, many called him simply "The Major."

Unfortunately, that life was cut short. McKinley, who began his political career as a congressman and served two terms as Governor of Ohio, was a popular president whose second term began with great promise of domestic harmony and American supremacy overseas. On Sep. 5, 1901, after a speech at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, President McKinley was shaking hands with the public. One man in line was an anarchist whose hand concealed a revolver wrapped in a handkerchief he shot the president twice. McKinley died on Sep. 14, the third president to be assassinated.

William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio on 29 January 1843, and he served in the US Army during the American Civil War, ending the war as a Major he was the last US president to have Civil War combat experience. He became a lawyer in Canton, Ohio after the war, and he was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1876 as a Republican. McKinley became the party's expert on the protective tariff, and he ran for president in 1890 as the Republican nominee. Gerrymandering on the part of the Democratic Party led to him being defeated in a landslide by Grover Cleveland, but McKinley would defeat Democratic challenger William Jennings Bryan in the election of 1896 to become the next President of the United States. During the 1896 election, McKinley built a conservative coalition of big businesspeople, professionals, and prosperous farmers to defend the "Gold Standard" against the progressive Bryan's "Free Silver" movement.

During his presidency, McKinley pursued an aggressive foreign policy, supporting imperialism. McKinley used the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor, Cuba in 1898 to justify the Spanish-American War, during which the United States conquered Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and various Pacific islands from the Spanish Empire. McKinley's administration ensured that the people of these new colonies were westernized, establishing Protestant schools, telegraph wires, railroads, and other public works. In 1898, the government also annexed Hawaii due to its abundance of natural resources and its strategic value it could make for a great naval base. McKinley was re-elected in 1900, again defeating Bryan and the Democrats, and Spanish-American War hero Theodore Roosevelt served as vice-president.

On 6 September 1901, McKinley's six-month second term came to an end when anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot him at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York during the Pan-American Exposition. His secretary George B. Cortelyou had twice cancelled his attendance of the event, fearing that he would be assassinated, but McKinley restored the event to his schedule both times. As he was shaking hands with some visitors at the event, McKinley was shot twice by Czolgosz, with one bullet entering his abdomen. He died of gangrene six days later.

William McKinley Jr.

Ohioan William McKinley, Jr., was President of the United States of America from 1897 to 1901.

McKinley was born on January 29, 1843, in Niles, Ohio. In 1852, the McKinley family moved to Poland, Ohio, where William attended the Poland Union Seminary, before enrolling in Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for McKinley, he became ill and was forced to leave this institution before graduating. He returned to Poland, where he briefly taught school, before enrolling in the Union Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War. McKinley remained in the military for the conflict's duration, rising from a mere private to the rank of major by the war's end.

Upon returning home from the war, McKinley attended law school in Albany, New York. He returned to Ohio in 1867, where he opened a law practice in Canton, Ohio. In Canton, McKinley embarked on a political career. He supported the Republican Party. The first elected office that McKinley held was as Stark County's prosecuting attorney. Voters elected McKinley to this position in 1869, but he lost reelection in 1871. That same year, McKinley married Ida Saxton, a Canton socialite, who suffered from epilepsy. McKinley was a doting husband, and he actively assisted Ida in coping with her illness. Early in the marriage, the couple's only child died.

In 1876, McKinley won election to the United States House of Representatives. He served his district in the House from 1876 to 1890, with the exception of May 27, 1884 to March 3, 1885, having lost a contested bid for reelection. In the House, McKinley became a staunch supporter of businesses. He especially lobbied for high protective tariffs to protect American businesses from foreign competition. In 1890, he introduced a tariff bill, which became known as the McKinley Tariff, in the House. The McKinley Tariff dramatically increased the tax rate on foreign products. While many business owners supported this legislation, American consumers generally opposed it, as prices increased for goods. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party continuously battled over tariffs. American opposition was so high to the McKinley Tariff that President Benjamin Harrison, a Republican, may have lost reelection in 1892 partly because of his support for the tax. In 1890, McKinley, who represented a predominantly Democratic area of Ohio, lost reelection to the House of Representatives.

In 1891, the Ohio Republican Party nominated McKinley for the governor's seat of the state. McKinley won the election by twenty-one thousand votes. In this relatively close election, McKinley won by less than three percentage points. The governor-elect had Marcus Hanna and John Sherman to thank for his victory. Hanna was a prominent businessman in Cleveland who staunchly supported the Republican Party. Sherman was one of the most powerful Republicans in the state and currently served in the United States Senate. McKinley's first term as governor was uneventful, and he won reelection by eighty thousand votes in 1893. During his second term, McKinley's greatest crisis involved the Panic of 1893. This economic downturn led to the unemployment of fifty percent of Ohio's factory workers. McKinley generally sided with business owners, calling out the state militia on several occasions to put down workers' strikes.

McKinley emerged as one of the leading Republicans in the United States during the early 1890s. His actions as Ohio's governor built tremendous support for him among fellow Republicans. His political alliance with John Sherman and Marcus Hanna also assisted McKinley greatly. McKinley had risen so high in stature that the Republican Party nominated him as its candidate for the presidency in 1896. McKinley called for the creation of high protective tariffs and rejected free silver. Marcus Hanna conducted McKinley's campaign. It was a complete victory for the Republican Party, with McKinley winning by 600,000 votes.

Upon taking office in March 1897, McKinley immediately called upon the U.S. Congress to enact a higher tariff, and the Congress quickly agreed to do so. The major issue that McKinley faced during his first term was conflict with Spain. Throughout the 1890s, many Americans objected to Spain's treatment of the people of Cuba, a colony of Spain. For decades, Cuban revolutionaries had attempted to overthrow Spanish authority. The Spanish government in Cuba forced suspected revolutionaries into prison camps, among other tactics. Some American reporters, the Yellow Press, printed sensational stories regarding Spanish atrocities in Cuba. Many Americans firmly believed that the United States, the bastion of representative government, could not permit Spain's continued subjugation of the Cuban people.

Tensions between the United States and Cuba came to a boiling point in February 1898. President McKinley dispatched a United States battleship, the Maine, to Cuba, purportedly to protect American citizens in Cuba in case a war erupted between the Spanish and the Cubans. In February 1898, the Maine exploded, killing 260 American servicemen. The American people were convinced that the Spanish were responsible, although there was no clear evidence to prove this accusation. McKinley sent a declaration of war to the United States Congress, which approved the declaration on April 25, 1898.

Not all Americans supported the Spanish-American War, as the conflict was called. In 1897, President McKinley appointed John Sherman, his former political ally, as Secretary of State. These two men quickly developed a difference of opinions on United States expansion. Sherman opposed the acquisition of new territory, while McKinley supported it. Sherman objected to the Spanish-American War and resigned as Secretary of State a week after the United States Congress declared war.

The Spanish-American War lasted less than three months and ended in a complete victory for the United States. The United States military easily defeated Spanish forces in Cuba and in the Philippines. The Treaty of Paris (1898) officially ended the Spanish-American War. The United States acquired Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines as territories. Cuba technically gained its independence, but United States soldiers remained in the independent country for years, commonly intervening in the new nation's politics. While some Americans opposed expansion, the United States victory in the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of territory from Spain assured McKinley easy reelection in the election of 1900. McKinley won by almost 900,000 votes.

McKinley's second term began as a celebration of the United States' victory in the Spanish-American War. Economic prosperity had also seemed to return, following the Panic of 1893. The United States was involved in the Philippino Insurrection, as the nation tried to solidify its control over the Philippine Islands, but most Americans remained unconcerned with this conflict. To celebrate these accomplishments, McKinley embarked on a cross-country tour during the summer of 1901. Before returning to Washington, DC, McKinley stopped at Buffalo, New York, to give a speech at the Pan American Exposition. Leon Czolgosz assassinated McKinley at the exposition. McKinley died on September 14, 1901, eight days after being shot. McKinley was the second president from Ohio to be assassinated. He also was the third president from Ohio not to survive his term in office.

Domestic Policy

Soon after taking office, McKinley called a special session of Congress to raise customs duties, an effort he believed would reduce other taxes and encourage the growth of domestic industry and employment for American workers.

The result was the Dingley Tariff Act (sponsored by the Maine congressman Nelson Dingley), the highest protective tariff in American history. McKinley&aposs support for the Dingley Tariff strengthened his position with organized labor, while his generally business-friendly administration allowed industrial combinations or "trusts" to develop at an unprecedented rate.

William McKinley - HISTORY

A Minute in History: President William McKinley, Commissary Sergeant

A Minute in Commissary History: Narrated by DeCA Historian Dr. Peter Skirbunt, this video, “Bill McKinley and the Battle of Antietam,” relates how the commissary sergeant of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry risked his life to bring a hot meal to the men of his regiment during the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single day of the American Civil War. It concludes with some interesting facts about what happened to McKinley and his regimental commander after the war. This video is the 10th in a series of “A Minute of History” videos produced by the Defense Commissary.
William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901)

He was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897 until his assassination in September 1901. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry, and maintained the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of inflationary proposals. Though McKinley’s administration ended with his assassination, his presidency marked the beginning of a period of dominance by the Republican Party that lasted for more than a third of a century.

McKinley was the last President to have served in the Union Army during the American Civil War, beginning as a private and ending as a brevet major. After the war, he settled in Canton, Ohio, where he practiced law and married Ida Saxton. In 1876, he was elected to Congress, where he became the Republican Party’s expert on the protective tariff, which he promised would bring prosperity. His 1890 McKinley Tariff was highly controversial which together with a Democratic redistricting aimed at gerrymanderinghim out of office, led to his defeat in the Democratic landslide of 1890. He was elected Ohio’s governor in 1891 and 1893, steering a moderate course between capital and labor interests. With the aid of his close adviser Mark Hanna, he secured the Republican nomination for president in 1896, amid a deep economic depression. He defeated his Democratic rival, William Jennings Bryan, after a front-porch campaign in which he advocated “sound money” (the gold standard unless altered by international agreement) and promised that high tariffs would restore prosperity.

Rapid economic growth marked McKinley’s presidency. He promoted the 1897 Dingley Tariff to protect manufacturers and factory workers from foreign competition, and in 1900, he secured the passage of the Gold Standard Act. McKinley hoped to persuade Spain to grant independence to rebellious Cuba without conflict, but when negotiation failed, he led the nation in the Spanish–American War of 1898 the U.S. victory was quick and decisive. As part of the peace settlement Spain turned over to the United States its main overseas colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines Cuba was promised independence but at that time remained under the control of the U.S. Army. The United States annexed the independent Republic of Hawaii in 1898 and it became a U.S. territory.

McKinley defeated Bryan again in the 1900 presidential election, in a campaign focused on imperialism, prosperity, and free silver. President McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist in September 1901, and was succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt. Historians regard McKinley’s 1896 victory as a realigning election, in which the political stalemate of the post-Civil War era gave way to the Republican-dominated Fourth Party System, which began with the Progressive Era. He is generally placed near the middle in rankings of American presidents.

Early life and family

William McKinley at age 15

William McKinley, Jr., was born in 1843 in Niles, Ohio, the seventh child of William and Nancy (Allison) McKinley. The McKinleys were of English and Scots-Irish descent and had settled in western Pennsylvania in the 18th century. There, the elder McKinley was born in Pine Township. The family moved to Ohio when the senior McKinley was a boy, settling in New Lisbon (now Lisbon). He met Nancy Allison there in 1829, and married her the same year. The Allison family was of mostly English blood and among Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers. The family trade on both sides was iron-making, and McKinley senior operated foundries in New Lisbon, Niles, Poland, and finally Canton, Ohio.

The McKinley household was, like many from Ohio’s Western Reserve, steeped in Whiggish and abolitionist sentiment. Religiously, the family was staunchly Methodist and young William followed in that tradition, becoming active in the local Methodist church at the age of sixteen. He was a lifelong pious Methodist. In 1852, the family moved from Niles to Poland so that their children could attend the better school there. Graduating in 1859, he enrolled the following year at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He remained at Allegheny for only one year, returning home in 1860 after becoming ill and depressed. Although his health recovered, family finances declined and McKinley was unable to return to Allegheny, first working as a postal clerk and later taking a job teaching at a school near Poland.

Western Virginia and Antietam

Rutherford B. Hayes was McKinley’s mentor duringthe Civil War and afterward.

When the southern states seceded from the Union and the American Civil War began, thousands of men in Ohio volunteered for service. Among them were McKinley and his cousin, William McKinley Osbourne, who enlisted as privates in the newly formed Poland Guards in July 1861. The men left for Columbus where they were consolidated with other small units to form the 23rd Ohio Infantry. The men were unhappy to learn that, unlike Ohio’s earlier volunteer regiments, they would not be permitted to elect their officers they would be designated by Ohio’s governor, William Dennison. Dennison appointed Colonel William Rosecrans as the commander of the regiment, and the men began training on the outskirts of Columbus. McKinley quickly took to the soldier’s life and wrote a series of letters to his hometown newspaper extolling the army and the Union cause. Delays in issuance of uniforms and weapons again brought the men into conflict with their officers, but Major Rutherford B. Hayes convinced them to accept what the government had issued them his style in dealing with the men impressed McKinley, beginning an association and friendship that would last until Hayes’ death in 1893.

After a month of training, McKinley and the 23rd Ohio, now led by Colonel Eliakim P. Scammon, set out for western Virginia (today part of West Virginia) in June 1861 as a part of the Kanawha Division. McKinley initially thought Scammon was a martinet, but when the regiment finally saw battle, he came to appreciate the value of their relentless drilling. Their first contact with the enemy came in September when they drove back Confederate troops at Carnifex Ferry in present-day West Virginia. Three days after the battle, McKinley was assigned to duty in the brigade quartermaster office, where he worked both to supply his regiment, and as a clerk. In November, the regiment established winter quarters near Fayetteville (today in West Virginia). McKinley spent the winter substituting for acommissary sergeant who was ill, and in April 1862 he was promoted to that rank. The regiment resumed its advance that spring with Hayes in command (Scammon by then led the brigade) and fought several minor engagements against the rebel forces.

Street of Shops

Step back in time as you walk through our Street of Shops, a life-size replica of a historic town. Visit the Dannemiller Store, Gibbs Manufacturing Company, the Eagle Hotel and our fire station– complete with a horse-drawn fire engine. Kids can even slide down a real fire pole! Be sure to stop at our model train layout, housed inside a replica of downtown Canton’s train station. Here you will see the historical and working relationship of the Pennsylvania Railroad and our community.

William McKinley: Campaigns and Elections

The Panic of 1893, one of America's most devastating economic collapses, placed the Democrats on the defensive and restored Governor McKinley's stature in national politics. McKinley dominated the political arena at the opening of the 1896 Republican presidential nominating convention held in St. Louis. His commitment to protectionism as a solution to unemployment and his popularity in the Republican Party—as well as the behind-the-scenes political management of his chief political supporter, affluent businessman Marcus Hanna of Ohio—gave McKinley the nomination on the first ballot. He accumulated 661 votes compared to the 84 votes won by his nearest rival, House Speaker Thomas B. Reed of Maine.

The Republican platform endorsed protective tariffs and the gold standard while leaving open the door to an international agreement on bimetallism. It also supported the acquisition of Hawaii, construction of a canal across Central America, expansion of the Navy, restrictions on the acceptance of illiterate immigrants into the country, equal pay for equal work for women, and a national board of arbitration to settle labor disputes.

The Democrats, meeting in Chicago, rallied behind William Jennings Bryan, a former congressman from Nebraska. A superb orator, Bryan stirred Democrats with his stinging attack on the gold standard and his defense of bimetallism and free silver. He won the nomination on the fifth ballot. The Democrats pegged their hopes for victory on their opposition to (1) the protective tariff, (2) the immigration of foreign "pauper labor," and (3) the use of injunctions to end strikes. They also supported a federal income tax, a stronger Interstate Commerce Commission, statehood for the western states (Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona), and the anti-Spanish revolutionaries in Cuba, who were also supported by the Republicans.

Realizing that the Democrats had stolen their thunder on free silver, the insurgent Populist Party, which sought to organize and support farmers' interests, fused with the Democrats to nominate Bryan for President. Faced with the loss of the Solid South and the Far West, owing to the silver issue, the Republicans raised a staggering $4 million for the campaign. A majority of the contributions came from business, particularly protectionist manufacturers who supported high tariffs and bankers who wanted to maintain sound money policies. Most of these funds went into the printing and distribution of 200 million pamphlets. McKinley, following the tradition of previous candidates who campaigned for President from their homes, delivered 350 carefully crafted speeches from his front porch in Canton to 750,000 visiting delegates. Some 1,400 party speakers stumped the nation, painting Bryan as a radical, a demagogue, and a socialist. Republican speakers de-emphasized their party's stand on bimetallism and instead championed a protective tariff that promised full employment and industrial growth.

Bryan, in response, stumped the nation in a strenuous campaign, covering 18,000 miles in just three months. He spoke to wildly enthusiastic crowds, condemning McKinley as the puppet of big business and political managers. However, midway through his campaign, Bryan's pace faltered. His strategy for dual party support failed. Gold Democrats bolted the party, unhappy with Bryan's stand on bimetallism and free silver. Some urban-based progressives, who worried about Bryan's evangelistic style and moralistic fervor, also deserted the Democrats. Moreover, Bryan failed to build support outside his Populist and agrarian base, especially in the face of McKinley's effective campaigning on economic issues.

Bryan lost to McKinley by a margin of approximately 600,000 votes, the greatest electoral sweep in twenty-five years. McKinley received over a third more electoral college votes than Bryan. The Republican victory reflected a winning coalition of urban residents in the North, prosperous midwestern farmers, industrial workers, ethnic voters (with the exception of the Irish), and reform-minded professionals. It launched a long period of Republican power lasting until 1932, broken only by Woodrow Wilson's victory in 1912, which occurred principally because of a split in the Republican Party.

The Campaign and Election of 1900

After four years in office, McKinley's popularity had risen because of his image as the victorious commander-in-chief of the Spanish-American War (see Foreign Affairs section) and because of the nation's general return to economic prosperity. Hence, he was easily renominated in 1900 as the Republican candidate. The most momentous event at the Philadelphia convention centered on the vice presidential nomination of Governor Theodore Roosevelt of New York. Vice President Garret A. Hobart of New Jersey had died in office, and Roosevelt's candidacy added a popular war hero and reform governor to the ticket. Setting up the stage for a rematch of the 1896 election, the Democrats again nominated Bryan at their convention in Kansas City. Grover Cleveland's former vice president, Adlai E. Stevenson, took the second spot on the Democratic slate.

The rematch played to old and new issues. Bryan refused to back off his call for free silver even though the recent discoveries of gold in Alaska and South Africa had inflated the world's money supply and increased world prices. As a result, the U.S. farming industry saw its profits grow as crops such as corn commanded more money on the market. Farmer dissatisfaction was less than it was in 1896, and gold was the reason behind it. Hence, Bryan's silver plank was a nonissue to the farming community, which was one of his main constituent groups. Responding to these voter sentiments, Democratic Party managers included the silver plank in their platform but placed greater emphasis on expansionism and protectionism as the key issues in the election. The Democrats also opposed McKinley's war against Philippine insurgents and the emergence of an American empire, viewing the latter as contrary to the basic character of the nation. The Republicans countered with a spirited defense of America's interests in foreign markets. They advocated expanding ties with China, a protectorate status for the Philippines, and an antitrust policy that condemned monopolies while approving the "honest cooperation of capital to meet new business conditions" in foreign markets.

Duplicating the campaign tactics of 1896, the Republicans spent several million dollars on 125 million campaign documents, including 21 million postcards and 2 million written inserts that were distributed to over 5,000 newspapers weekly. They also employed 600 speakers and poll watchers. As in 1896, McKinley stayed at home dispensing carefully written speeches. His running mate, Theodore Roosevelt, campaigned across the nation, condemning Bryan as a dangerous threat to America's prosperity and status.

Although not a landslide shift comparable to election swings in the twentieth century, McKinley's victory ended the pattern of close popular margins that had characterized elections since the Civil War. McKinley received 7,218,491 votes (51.7 percent) to Bryan's 6,356,734 votes (45.5 percent)—a gain for the Republicans of 114,000 votes over their total in 1896. McKinley received nearly twice as many electoral votes as Bryan did. In congressional elections that year, Republicans held fifty-five Senate seats to the Democrats' thirty-one, and McKinley's party captured 197 House seats compared to the Democrats' 151. Indeed, the Republican Party had become the majority political party in the nation.

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