Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Moral and Political Ideals of William McKinley

Moral and Political Ideals of William McKinley. Essay by Babacar M'Baye on the moral and political convictions of President McKinley. It discusses their effect on nineteenth century America.

This essay is up at Bowling Green State University. As a BGSU graduate, I was pleased to find this site to add to this blog.

From the site:

William McKinley embodies a complex blend of ideals. On the one hand, he was a symbol of a new Republican ideal that regarded the interest of the public as the foundation of political and economic motives. This ideal, blended in a puritanical belief in the Manifest Destiny of the American people, led McKinley to believe that America had the moral and political rights to free Filipinos from the grasp of the Spanish monarchy. By introducing such an atypical thought in nineteenth century America, McKinley laid the ground for a nascent idea that identifies America today. This groundwork prepared America to become the most powerful military and political authority in the twentieth century. America's remarkable participation in the eradication of Hitler is a testimony of this authority.

McKinley is a key figure in modern history because he was the first American president to put expansionism and imperialism in practice. He was the first American president to begin the "Passage to India" that Walt Whitman voiced so nicely over the rooftops of this country. In order to perceive all these remarkable influence that McKinley have on modern history, one needs to see the man in the context of the religious, Republican and moral sophistication of the America of the 1890s.

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