Friday, June 25, 2004

William McKinley (1843-1901)

William McKinley (1843-1901) This biography focuses on the Spanish-American War. It was written by Lauren Calone.

From the site:

William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, on January 29, 1843, the seventh child of William and Nancy McKinley. William briefly attended Allegheny College, and was teaching in a country school when the Civil War broke out. Following the war, he studied law, began practicing in Canton Ohio, and married Ida Saxton.

At age 34, McKinley won a seat in Congress. He was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee. Those who served with him attest that in his votes, he often sided with the public and avoided private interests. During his 14-year tenure with the House, McKinley became a leading expert on tariffs. He later became governor of Ohio, serving two terms. As a congressman, governor and later, president, McKinley, a man of moderation and compromise, held firmly to two beliefs: favorable tariff to stimulate American business and limited coinage of silver.

William McKinley was nominated as the Republican candidate for president with the assistance of Mark Hanna, a wealthy industrialist. Favoring tariffs as protection for prosperity for the nation and a limit on silver, he defeated William Jennings Bryan, whom many feared as a threat to the government in the election of 1892.

As president, McKinley was converted to the idea of international bimetallism—an agreement of several countries to use both gold and silver as the basis for their currency. He later favored maintaining currency by using the gold standard, opening the way to passage of the Gold Standard Act of 1900.

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