.. 96, the Republicans again supported McKinley and he was nominated as the Republican presidential contender with Garret Hobart, a New Jersey senator, as his running mate. The Democratic opponents were William Jennings Bryan, a great orator from Nebraska, whose running mate was Arthur Sewall, a wealthy Maine shipbuilder. McKinleys platform was based on the protective tariff and the gold standard, which became the main issue of the campaign. Bryan favored an unlimited number of silver coins being made to increase the nations money supply. He attracted national attention at the Democratic National Convention with his cross of gold speech.
Bryan traveled all over the country, traveling 18,000 miles, giving whistle-stop speeches while McKinley conducted a front-porch campaign in Canton, partly because he didnt want to leave his ailing wife. Over 750,000 people visited Canton to hear him speak. Newspapers nationwide reprinted his speeches. This campaign is noted for being the first one to hand out campaign buttons and memorabilia such as walking sticks, umbrellas, ribbons, soap babies, etc. McKinley won the election with more than 7 million of the nearly 14 million votes. His priorities as president were to increase the protective tariff and make gold the standard of our money system.
The passing of the Dingley Tariff in 1897 increased the tariff, and in 1900 Congress passed the Gold Standard Act. Although domestic issues dominated the campaign, foreign affairs would occupy a large part of President McKinleys terms in office. Because of growing interest in Cuba, which was fighting for independence from Spain, the president sent the battleship USS Maine to Havana to protect American interests. Earlier he had tried to get Spain to negotiate with the rebels, but on February 15, 1898, the Maine exploded, killing 266 of its 354 men. At this time there was much anti-Spain sentiment in the U.S., partly because of the yellow journalism brought about by the sensational headlines in the newspapers of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. Greatly pressured by public opinion, McKinley asked Congress for authority to take action.
Subsequently, the U.S. declared war on Spain. The U.S. blockaded the Spanish ships inside Santiago Harbor, Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders stormed up San Juan Hill and took possession of the area, and in the Philippines, Commodore George Dewey sailed into Manila Bay and sunk all the Spanish ships there. The war last approximately 110 days and at the ensuing Treaty of Paris, Puerto Rico and Guam became U.S. possessions and, for $20 million, we acquired the Philippines as a territory. With the accession of these lands, the U.S.
became a world power under President McKinley. Because of its new possessions in the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. became more involved in Asian politics. In 1898, McKinleys administration issued the Open Door Policy in trade relations with China. This policy supported equal access to the profitable Chinese trade.
In 1900 a secret Chinese society know as the Boxers began an uprising to drive out foreigners. President McKinley sent 5,000 troops to help Germany, Japan, Russia, and others put down the Boxer Rebellion. By using his authority as commander-in-chief, McKinley helped to strengthen the office of the presidency. The year before, in 1899, Vice President Hobart died in office. McKinley chose Teddy Roosevelt as his running mate for the 1900 election.
In this election, McKinley again faced William Jennings Bryan as his presidential opponent. Bryan attacked McKinley on the issues of American imperialism (in regard to our overseas acquisitions), free silver, and the growth of big business and illegal monopolies, called trusts. But the major campaign issue became prosperity. McKinley asserted that, We have prosperity at home and prestige abroad. McKinley won the election with a relatively easy victory. In this same year, the Hay Pauncefote Treaty gave to the U.S.
the right to build the Panama Canal. By 1901, McKinley no longer supported the growth of big business. Business trusts and monopolies had hurt competition and kept prices high for the consumers. Also by this time, he had modified his views on tariffs. He no longer supported protective tariffs to help businesses.
Instead, he favored free commerce through reciprocal trade agreements. During McKinleys presidency there were also civil rights violations, murders, and torturing of blacks. McKinley was unhappy with these events but he was reluctant to return to the methods of control used during the Reconstruction. On September 5, 1901 McKinley gave a speech at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. The Exposition was celebrating 100 years of progress in North and South America. One of the items on display was the X-ray machine, which had been recently invented by Thomas Edison.
On the next day, September 6th, President McKinley was shaking hands with the public at a reception held at the Temple of Music. One man in the line was Leon Czolgosz, (pronounced Tchollgosh) an anarchist, whose right hand had been wrapped with a handkerchief. Inside the handkerchief was concealed a .32 caliber revolver. When Czolgosz got up to the president, he shot McKinley twice. A button deflected one bullet that struck the presidents chest. The other bullet pierced the presidents stomach, went through the colon and kidney, and lodged in the muscles of his back. As the president was awaiting medical aid, he said to his secretary, My wife, be careful, Cortelyou, how you tell her-oh, be careful.
He also told the aide not to let the crowd hurt the assassin. McKinley was rushed to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery. It was decided that of the doctors at the hospital at that time, a Dr. Mann was best qualified to perform the surgery. The president was operated on but they could not find the bullet, so they closed him up and sent him to the home of the president of the Exposition to recover.
He started to improve for a couple of days but then he took a turn for the worse and died on September 14th from infection. Ironically, doctors had decided not to use Edisons X-ray machine to find the bullet because they were not sure of what side effects it might have had on the president. The presidents body first went to the Buffalo City Hall to be viewed by the public for a couple of days, next to Washington D.C. for two days, and finally to Canton, Ohio on September 18th where he was buried at Westlawn Cemetery. He was the third president to be assassinated, the others were Lincoln and Garfield, and his death was mourned both at home and abroad.
The assassin was tried, found guilty, and was electrocuted in Buffalo shortly after the shooting. McKinleys wife, Ida, returned to Canton where a sister cared for her until her death in 1907. I think William McKinleys tragic assassination left him not being able to do great and better things. William McKinley should not have been assassinated, just like any other president. He probably could of gone on and done better things for this country. This man was kind and gentle presidents according to, http://gi.grolier.com/presidents/aae/bios/25pmcki. html, so being president of the United States when he was must of not been good for some one of his nature.