William McKinley is the 25th President of the United States
William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio and was the seventh child of his parents. As an adult he worked as a postal clerk and later a school teacher before enlisting to fight in the Civil War. He fought in the major battles of Antietam and Shenandoah Valley and reached the rank of captain. After the war McKinley met and married Ida Saxton. He also attended law school and was elected prosecuting attourney in Stock County, a surprising victory as the office was usually held by Democrats. He lost his re-election to this office, but was elected to Ohio's House of Representatives.
As a member of the House of Representatives, McKinley pushed for the use of silver coinage along with the gold standard, though he had little success in that. He also pushed for his most famous work as a Representative, the McKinley Tariff, which was signed into law. Though it was successful in expanding local business, the prices of products went up. This combined with gerrymandering of districts by Democrats contributed to McKinley's defeat in his re-election. McKinley did however run for governorship of Ohio, and managed to win. As governor he set up an arbitration board to settle disputes between labor unons and employers. McKinley used the importance of Ohio as a swing state to convince Republicans to nominate him for President. McKinley won the Presidential election in 1896.
McKinley's presidency was notable for its expansion of U.S. territory and the maintaining of high tariffs. Cuba had been warring with Spain for it's independence and McKinley did not initially want to get involved. After a letter written by Spain's ambassador called McKinley weak, and the explosion of a U.S. ship called the USS Maine, McKinley got a declaration of war from Congress. The War with Spain lasted for five months and resulted in U.S. victory. McKinley obtained many Spanish colonies including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philipines. McKinley also managed to annex Hawaii and divide the nation of Samoa with Germany. McKinley won re-election with a new Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt. McKinley began establishing stronger trade relations with other nations using commercial treaties. Unfortunately, he was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist from Poland.
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We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is Manifest Destiny.
War should not be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.
In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest.