William McKinley and His America

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Kent State University Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 488 pages
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William McKinley was the last of the Civil War veterans to reach the White House. Known widely as the Major, in honor of his military rank, he rose through Congress to head the crucial Ways and Means Committee where, in the early 1890s, he passed a strong and popular tariff bill. That success caught the eye of Marcus Hanna, a Cleveland industrialist with a passion for politics and an ambition to help make and elect a president. Democrats complained that McKinley was a mere puppet of the wealth Hanna, but historians generally believe they were a well-matched team of two strong-willed men. With Hanna's help, McKinley was elected governor of Ohio in 1892. In 1896 McKinley swept away all rivals to win the presidential nomination on the first ballot. Faced in the general election by the well-respected and highly touted orator William Jennings Bryan, Republicans adopted their "Front Porch Campaign." Thousands of citizens from across the country were brought to McKinley's home in Canton for a handshake and a few words. Hanna arranged for this $3.5 million campaign to be paid for by big business, with oil baron John D. Rockefeller writing the largest check. McKinley's military service and support among veterans were significant factors in his campaign. He became the first presidential candidate in a generation to win a majority of the popular vote. McKinley was a popular president. Pushed reluctantly into the Spanish-American War, McKinley was instrumental in starting America on the path to becoming a global power. He was reelected by a landslide, and, in 1901, after delivering a speech at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, he was assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. McKinley's vice president, Theodore Roosevelt became the nation's 26th president.
 

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User Review  - jerry-book - LibraryThing

The author sought to show William McKinley (the Major) was one of are most important presidents. As president he did acquire Hawaii. He did appoint Hay as Secretary of State who was largely ... Read full review

Contents

Origins and Ancestors
1
The Volunteer Soldier
13
Ohio Lawyer
28
Raising the Standard of Protection
44
Congressman William McKinley
63
Ohio Politics 18801890
73
A National Figure
83
Victory and Defeat
96
If Cuba Libre
248
From Peace to War
266
CommanderinChief
288
Making Peace
303
Problems of Empire
323
The Diplomacy of Power
343
President of All the People
362
Journey to Buffalo
389

Governor of Ohio
117
The McKinley Boom
140
The FrontPorch Campaign
160
Cabinetmaking
190
The New Administration
207
Presidential Profile
229
Epilogue
404
Notes
407
Bibliographical Essay
458
Index
474
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About the author (2003)

A. Wayne Morgan is professor emeritus of history at the University of Oklahoma.

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