Inauguration and appointments
McKinley was "sworn in as president on March 4, 1897, as his wife and mother looked on. The new President gave a lengthy inaugural address; he urged tariff reform, and stated that the currency issue would have to await tariff legislation. He warned against foreign interventions, "We want no wars of conquest. We must avoid the temptation of territorial aggression."
McKinley's most controversial Cabinet appointment was that of John Sherman as "Secretary of State. Sherman had an outstanding reputation but old age was fast reducing his abilities. McKinley needed to have Hanna appointed to the Senate so Senator Sherman was moved up.  Sherman's mental faculties were decaying even in 1896; this was widely spoken of in political circles, but McKinley did not believe the rumors. Nevertheless, McKinley sent his cousin, William McKinley Osborne, to have dinner with the 73-year-old senator; he reported back that Sherman seemed as lucid as ever. McKinley wrote once the appointment was announced, "the stories regarding Senator Sherman's 'mental decay' are without foundation ... When I saw him last I was convinced both of his perfect health, physically and mentally, and that the prospects of life were remarkably good." His failing abilities made for a poor cabinet officer.
Maine Representative "Nelson Dingley Jr. was McKinley's choice for Secretary of the Treasury; he declined it, preferring to remain as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Charles Dawes, who had been Hanna's lieutenant in Chicago during the campaign, was considered for the Treasury post but by some accounts Dawes considered himself too young. Dawes eventually became "Comptroller of the Currency; he recorded in his published diary that he had strongly urged McKinley to appoint as secretary the successful candidate, "Lyman J. Gage, president of the "First National Bank of Chicago and a "Gold Democrat. The "Navy Department was offered to former Massachusetts Congressman "John Davis Long, an old friend from the House, on January 30, 1897. Although McKinley was initially inclined to allow Long to choose his own assistant, there was considerable pressure on the President-elect to appoint "Theodore Roosevelt, head of the New York City Police Commission and a former state assemblyman. McKinley was reluctant, stating to one Roosevelt booster, "I want peace and I am told that your friend Theodore is always getting into rows with everybody." Nevertheless, he made the appointment.
In addition to Sherman, McKinley made one other ill-advised Cabinet appointment, that of "Secretary of War, which fell to "Russell A. Alger, former general and "Michigan governor. Competent enough in peacetime, Alger proved inadequate once the conflict with Spain began. With the "War Department plagued by scandal, Alger resigned at McKinley's request in mid-1899. Vice President Hobart, as was customary at the time, was not invited to Cabinet meetings. However, he proved a valuable adviser both for McKinley and for his Cabinet members. The wealthy Vice President leased a residence close to the White House; the two families visited each other without formality, and the Vice President's wife, "Jennie Tuttle Hobart, sometimes substituted as Executive Mansion hostess when Ida McKinley was unwell. For most of McKinley's administration, "George B. Cortelyou served as "his personal secretary. Cortelyou, who served in three Cabinet positions under Theodore Roosevelt, became a combination "press secretary and "chief of staff to McKinley.
In 1897, McKinley was elected an honorary member of the Pennsylvania Commandery of the "Military Order of Foreign Wars and was assigned insignia number 107.
|The McKinley Cabinet|
|"Vice President||"Garret A. Hobart||1897–1899|
|"Secretary of State||"John Sherman||1897–1898|
|"William R. Day||1898|
|"John M. Hay||1898–1901|
|"Secretary of Treasury||"Lyman J. Gage||1897–1901|
|"Secretary of War||"Russell A. Alger||1897–1899|
|"Attorney General||"Joseph McKenna||1897–1898|
|"John W. Griggs||1898–1901|
|"Philander C. Knox||1901|
|"Postmaster General||"James A. Gary||1897–1898|
|"Charles Emory Smith||1898–1901|
|"Secretary of the Navy||"John D. Long||1897–1901|
|"Secretary of the Interior||"Cornelius N. Bliss||1897–1899|
|"Ethan A. Hitchcock||1899–1901|
|"Secretary of Agriculture||"James Wilson||1897–1901|
Cuba crisis and war with Spain
For decades, rebels in "Cuba had waged an intermittent campaign for freedom from "Spanish colonial rule. By 1895, the conflict had expanded to a "war for Cuban independence. As war engulfed the island, Spanish reprisals against the rebels grew ever harsher. American public opinion favored the rebels, and McKinley shared in their outrage against Spanish policies. However while public opinion called for war to liberate Cuba, McKinley favored a peaceful approach, hoping that through negotiation, Spain might be convinced to grant Cuba independence, or at least to allow the Cubans some measure of autonomy. The United States and Spain began negotiations on the subject in 1897, but it became clear that Spain would never concede Cuban independence, while the rebels (and their American supporters) would never settle for anything less.
In January 1898, Spain promised some concessions to the rebels, but when American "consul "Fitzhugh Lee reported riots in "Havana, McKinley agreed to send the battleship "USS Maine there to protect American lives and property. On February 15, the Maine exploded and sank with 266 men killed. Public attention focused on the crisis and the consensus was that regardless of who set the bomb, Spain had lost control over Cuba. McKinley insisted that a "court of inquiry first determine whether the explosion was accidental. Negotiations with Spain continued as the court considered the evidence, but on March 20, the court ruled that the Maine was blown up by an "underwater mine. As pressure for war mounted in Congress, McKinley continued to negotiate for Cuban independence. Spain refused McKinley's proposals, and on April 11, McKinley turned the matter over to Congress. He did not ask for war, but Congress declared war anyway on April 20, with the addition of the "Teller Amendment, which disavowed any intention of annexing Cuba.
The expansion of the telegraph and the development of the telephone gave McKinley a greater control over the day-to-day management of the war than previous presidents had enjoyed, and he used the new technologies to direct the army's and navy's movements as far as he was able. McKinley found Alger inadequate as Secretary of War, and did not get along with the Army's commanding general, "Nelson A. Miles. Bypassing them, he looked for strategic advice first from Miles's predecessor, General "John Schofield, and later from "Adjutant General "Henry Clarke Corbin. The war led to a change in McKinley's cabinet, as the President accepted Sherman's resignation as Secretary of State; Day agreed to serve as Secretary until the war's end.
Within a fortnight, the navy had its first victory when the "Asiatic Squadron, led by "Commodore "George Dewey, destroyed the Spanish navy at the "Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines. Dewey's overwhelming victory expanded the scope of the war from one centered in the Caribbean to one that would determine the fate of all of Spain's Pacific colonies. The next month, he increased the number of "troops sent to the Philippines and granted the force's commander, Major General "Wesley Merritt, the power to set up legal systems and raise taxes—necessities for a long occupation. By the time the troops arrived in the Philippines at the end of June 1898, McKinley had decided that Spain would be required to surrender the archipelago to the United States. He professed to be open to all views on the subject; however, he believed that as the war progressed, the public would come to demand retention of the islands as a prize of war.
Meanwhile, in the Caribbean theater, a large force of regulars and volunteers gathered near "Tampa, Florida, for an invasion of Cuba. The army faced difficulties in supplying the rapidly expanding force even before they departed for Cuba, but by June, Corbin had made progress in resolving the problems. After lengthy delays, the army, led by Major General "William Rufus Shafter, sailed from Florida on June 20, landing near "Santiago de Cuba two days later. Following a skirmish at "Las Guasimas on June 24, Shafter's army engaged the Spanish forces on July 2 in the "Battle of San Juan Hill. In an intense day-long battle, the American force was victorious, although both sides suffered heavy casualties. The next day, the Spanish Caribbean squadron, which had been sheltering in Santiago's harbor, broke for the open sea but was intercepted and destroyed by "Rear Admiral "William T. Sampson's North Atlantic Squadron in the "largest naval battle of the war. Shafter laid siege to the city of Santiago, which surrendered on July 17, placing Cuba under effective American control. McKinley and Miles also ordered an invasion of "Puerto Rico, which met little resistance when it landed in July. The distance from Spain and the destruction of the Spanish navy made resupply impossible, and the Spanish government began to look for a way to end the war.
Peace and territorial gain
McKinley's cabinet agreed with him that Spain must leave Cuba and Puerto Rico, but they disagreed on the Philippines, with some wishing to annex the entire archipelago and some wishing only to retain a naval base in the area. Although public sentiment seemed to favor annexation of the Philippines, several prominent political leaders—including Democrats Bryan, and Cleveland, and the newly formed "American Anti-Imperialist League—made their opposition known.
McKinley proposed to open negotiations with Spain on the basis of Cuban liberation and Puerto Rican annexation, with the final status of the Philippines subject to further discussion. He stood firmly in that demand even as the military situation on Cuba began to deteriorate when the American army was struck with "yellow fever. Spain ultimately agreed to a ceasefire on those terms on August 12, and treaty negotiations began in Paris in September 1898. The talks continued until December 18, when the "Treaty of Paris was signed. The United States acquired Puerto Rico and the Philippines as well as the island of "Guam, and Spain relinquished its claims to Cuba; in exchange, the United States agreed to pay Spain $20 million. McKinley had difficulty convincing the Senate to approve the treaty by the requisite two-thirds vote, but his lobbying, and that of Vice President Hobart, eventually saw success, as the Senate voted in favor on February 6, 1899, 57 to 27.
During the war, McKinley also pursued the annexation of the "Republic of Hawaii. The new republic, dominated by business interests, "had overthrown the Queen in 1893 when she rejected a limited role for herself. There was strong American support for annexation, and the need for Pacific bases in wartime became clear after the Battle of Manila. McKinley came to office as a supporter of annexation, and lobbied Congress to act, warning that to do nothing would invite a royalist counter-revolution or a Japanese takeover. Foreseeing difficulty in getting two-thirds of the Senate to approve a treaty of annexation, McKinley instead supported the effort of Democratic Representative "Francis G. Newlands of Nevada to accomplish the result by "joint resolution of both houses of Congress. The resulting "Newlands Resolution passed both houses by wide margins, and McKinley signed it into law on July 8, 1898. McKinley biographer H. Wayne Morgan notes, "McKinley was the guiding spirit behind the annexation of Hawaii, showing ... a firmness in pursuing it"; the President told Cortelyou, "We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is "manifest destiny."
Expanding influence overseas
Even before peace negotiations began with Spain, McKinley asked Congress to set up a commission to examine trade opportunities in Asia and espoused an ""Open Door Policy", in which all nations would freely trade with China and none would seek to violate that nation's territorial integrity.
American missionaries were threatened with death when the "Boxer Rebellion menaced foreigners in China. Americans and other westerners in "Peking were besieged and, in cooperation with other western powers, McKinley ordered 5000 troops to the city in June 1900 in the "China Relief Expedition. The westerners were rescued the next month, but several Congressional Democrats objected to McKinley dispatching troops without consulting the legislature. McKinley's actions set a precedent that led to most of his successors exerting similar independent control over the military. After the rebellion ended, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to the Open Door policy, which became the basis of American policy toward China.
Closer to home, McKinley and Hay engaged in negotiations with Britain over the possible construction of a canal across Central America. The "Clayton–Bulwer Treaty, which the two nations signed in 1850, prohibited either from establishing exclusive control over a canal there. The war had exposed the difficulty of maintaining a two-ocean navy without a connection closer than "Cape Horn. Now, with American business and military interests even more involved in Asia, a canal seemed more essential than ever, and McKinley pressed for a renegotiation of the treaty. Hay and the British ambassador, "Julian Pauncefote, agreed that the United States could control a future canal, provided that it was open to all shipping and not fortified. McKinley was satisfied with the terms, but the Senate rejected them, demanding that the United States be allowed to fortify the canal. Hay was embarrassed by the rebuff and offered his resignation, but McKinley refused it and ordered him to continue negotiations to achieve the Senate's demands. He was successful, and "a new treaty was drafted and approved, but not before McKinley's assassination in 1901.
Tariffs and bimetallism
McKinley had built his reputation in Congress on high tariffs, promising protection for American business and well-paid American factory workers. With the Republicans in control of Congress, Ways and Means chairman Dingley introduced the "Dingley Act which would raise rates on wool, sugar, and luxury goods. McKinley supported it and it became law.
American negotiators soon concluded a reciprocity treaty with France, and the two nations approached Britain to gauge British enthusiasm for "bimetallism. The Prime Minister, "Lord Salisbury, and his government showed some interest in the idea and told the American envoy, "Edward O. Wolcott, that he would be amenable to reopening the mints in "India to silver coinage if the "Viceroy's Executive Council there agreed. News of a possible departure from the gold standard stirred up immediate opposition from its partisans, and misgivings by the Indian administration led Britain to reject the proposal. With the international effort a failure, McKinley turned away from silver coinage and embraced the gold standard. Even without the agreement, agitation for free silver eased as prosperity began to return to the United States and gold from recent strikes in the "Yukon and "Australia increased the monetary supply even without silver coinage. In the absence of international agreement, McKinley favored legislation to formally affirm the gold standard, but was initially deterred by the silver strength in the Senate. By 1900, with another campaign ahead and good economic conditions, McKinley urged Congress to pass such a law, and was able to sign the "Gold Standard Act on March 14, 1900, using a gold pen to do so.
In the wake of McKinley's election in 1896, "African Americans were hopeful of progress towards equality. McKinley had spoken out against "lynching while governor, and most African Americans who could vote supported him in 1896. McKinley's priority, however, was in ending "sectionalism, and they were disappointed by his policies and appointments. Although McKinley made some appointments of African Americans to low-level government posts, and received some praise for that, the appointments were less than they had received under previous Republican administrations. "Blanche K. Bruce, an African American who during "Reconstruction had served as senator from "Mississippi, received the post of register at the Treasury Department; this post was traditionally given to an African American by Republican presidents. McKinley appointed several black postmasters; however, when whites protested the appointment of Justin W. Lyons as postmaster of "Augusta, Georgia, McKinley asked Lyons to withdraw (he was subsequently given the post of Treasury register after Bruce's death in 1898). The President did appoint "George B. Jackson, a former slave, to the post of customs collector in "Presidio, Texas. However, African Americans in northern states felt that their contributions to McKinley's victory were overlooked; few were appointed to office.
The administration's response to racial violence was minimal, causing him to lose black support. When black postmasters at "Hogansville, Georgia in 1897, and at "Lake City, South Carolina the following year, were assaulted, McKinley issued no statement of condemnation. Although black leaders criticized McKinley for inaction, supporters responded by saying there was little the president could do to intervene. Critics replied by saying that he could at least publicly condemn such events, as Harrison had done.
According to historian Clarance A. Bacote, "Before the Spanish–American War, the Negroes, in spite of some mistakes, regarded McKinley as the best friend they ever had." Under pressure from black leaders, McKinley required the War Department to commission black officers above the rank of lieutenant. McKinley toured the South in late 1898, promoting sectional reconciliation. He visited "Tuskegee Institute and black educator "Booker T. Washington. He also visited Confederate memorials. In his tour of the South, McKinley did not mention the racial tensions or violence. Although the President received a rapturous reception from Southern whites, many African Americans, excluded from official welcoming committees, felt alienated by the President's words and actions. Gould concluded regarding race, "McKinley lacked the vision to transcend the biases of his day and to point toward a better future for all Americans".
Republicans were generally successful in state and local elections around the country in 1899, and McKinley was optimistic about his chances at re-election in 1900. McKinley's popularity in his first term assured him of renomination for a second. The only question about the Republican ticket concerned the vice presidential nomination; McKinley needed a new running mate as Hobart had died in late 1899. McKinley initially favored "Elihu Root, who had succeeded Alger as Secretary of War, but McKinley decided that Root was doing too good a job at the War Department to move him. He considered other prominent candidates, including Allison and "Cornelius N. Bliss, but none were as popular as the Republican party's rising star, "Theodore Roosevelt. After a stint as "Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt had resigned and raised "a cavalry regiment; they fought bravely in Cuba, and Roosevelt returned home covered in glory. Elected governor of New York on a reform platform in 1898, Roosevelt had his eye on the presidency. Many supporters recommended him to McKinley for the second spot on the ticket, and Roosevelt believed it would be an excellent stepping stone to the presidency in 1904. McKinley remained uncommitted in public, but Hanna was firmly opposed to the New York governor. The Ohio senator considered the New Yorker overly impulsive; his stance was undermined by the efforts of "political boss and New York Senator "Thomas C. Platt, who, disliking Roosevelt's reform agenda, sought to sideline the governor by making him vice president.
When the "Republican convention began in "Philadelphia that June, no vice presidential candidate had overwhelming support, but Roosevelt had the broadest range of support from around the country. McKinley affirmed that the choice belonged to the convention, not to him. On June 21, McKinley was unanimously renominated and, with Hanna's reluctant acquiescence, Roosevelt was nominated for vice president on the first ballot. The "Democratic convention convened the next month in "Kansas City and nominated William Jennings Bryan, setting up a rematch of the 1896 contest.
The candidates were the same, but the issues of the campaign had shifted: free silver was still a question that animated many voters, but the Republicans focused on victory in war and prosperity at home as issues they believed favored their party. Democrats knew the war had been popular, even if the imperialism issue was less sure, so they focused on the issue of trusts and corporate power, painting McKinley as the servant of capital and big business. As in 1896, Bryan embarked on a speaking tour around the country while McKinley stayed at home, this time making only one speech, to accept his nomination. Roosevelt emerged as the campaign's primary speaker and Hanna helped the cause working to settle a coal miners strike in Pennsylvania. Bryan's campaigning failed to excite the voters as it had in 1896, and McKinley never doubted that he would be re-elected. On November 6, 1900, he was proven correct, winning the largest victory for any Republican since 1872. Bryan carried only four states outside the "solid South, and McKinley even won Bryan's home state of Nebraska.
Soon after "his second inauguration on March 4, 1901, William and Ida McKinley undertook a six-week tour of the nation. Traveling mostly by rail, the McKinleys were to travel through the South to the Southwest, and then up the Pacific coast and east again, to conclude with a visit on June 13, 1901, to the "Pan-American Exposition in "Buffalo, New York. However, the First Lady fell ill in California, causing her husband to limit his public events and cancel a series of speeches he had planned to give urging trade reciprocity. He also postponed the visit to the fair until September, planning a month in Washington and two in Canton before the Buffalo visit.
Assassination and death throes
Although McKinley enjoyed meeting the public, Cortelyou was concerned with his security due to recent assassinations by anarchists in Europe, such as the assassination of King "Umberto I of Italy the previous year, and twice tried to remove a public reception from the President's rescheduled visit to the Exposition. McKinley refused, and Cortelyou arranged for additional security for the trip. On September 5, the President delivered his address at the fairgrounds, before a crowd of some 50,000 people. In his final speech, McKinley urged reciprocity treaties with other nations to assure American manufacturers access to foreign markets. He intended the speech as a keynote to his plans for a second term.
One man in the crowd, "Leon Czolgosz, hoped to assassinate McKinley. He had managed to get close to the presidential podium, but did not fire, uncertain of hitting his target. Czolgosz, since hearing a speech by anarchist "Emma Goldman in Cleveland, had decided to do something he believed would advance the cause. After his failure to get close enough on the fifth, Czolgosz waited the next day at the "Temple of Music on the Exposition grounds, where the President was to meet the public. Czolgosz concealed his gun in a handkerchief, and, when he reached the head of the line, shot McKinley twice in the abdomen.
McKinley urged his aides to break the news gently to Ida, and to call off the mob that had set on Czolgosz—a request that may have saved his assassin's life. McKinley was taken to the Exposition aid station, where the doctor was unable to locate the second bullet. Although a primitive "X-ray machine was being exhibited on the Exposition grounds, it was not used. McKinley was taken to the Milburn House.
In the days after the shooting McKinley appeared to improve. Doctors issued increasingly optimistic bulletins. Members of the Cabinet, who had rushed to Buffalo on hearing the news, dispersed; Vice President Roosevelt departed on a camping trip to the "Adirondacks. Leech wrote,
It is difficult to interpret the optimism with which the President's physicians looked for his recovery. There was obviously the most serious danger that his wounds would become septic. In that case, he would almost certainly die, since drugs to control infection did not exist ... [Prominent New York City physician] "Dr. McBurney was by far the worst offender in showering sanguine assurances on the correspondents. As the only big-city surgeon on the case, he was eagerly questioned and quoted, and his rosy prognostications largely contributed to the delusion of the American public.
Unknown to the doctors, the "gangrene that would kill him was growing on the walls of his stomach, slowly poisoning his blood. On the morning of September 13, McKinley took a turn for the worse. Relatives and friends gathered around the death bed. At 2:15 a.m. on September 14, President McKinley died. Theodore Roosevelt had rushed back and took the oath of office as president in Buffalo. Czolgosz, put on trial for murder nine days after McKinley's death, was found guilty, sentenced to death on September 26, and executed by "electric chair on October 29, 1901.
Funeral, memorials, and legacy
Funeral and resting place
According to Gould, "The nation experienced a wave of genuine grief at the news of McKinley's passing." The stock market, faced with sudden uncertainty, suffered a steep decline—almost unnoticed in the mourning. The nation focused its attention on the casket that made its way by train, first to Washington, where it first lay in the "East Room of the Executive Mansion, and then in state in the Capitol, and then was taken to Canton. A hundred thousand people passed by the open casket in the "Capitol Rotunda, many having waited hours in the rain; in Canton, an equal number did the same at the Stark County Courthouse on September 18. The following day, a funeral service was held at the First Methodist Church; the casket was then sealed and taken to the McKinley house, where relatives paid their final respects. It was then transported to the receiving vault at "West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, to await the construction of the memorial to McKinley already being planned.
There was a widespread expectation that Ida McKinley would not long survive her husband; one family friend stated, as William McKinley lay dying, that they should be prepared for a double funeral. This did not occur; the former first lady accompanied her husband on the funeral train. Leech noted "the circuitous journey was a cruel ordeal for the woman who huddled in a compartment of the funeral train, praying that the Lord would take her with her Dearest Love". She was thought too weak to attend the services in Washington or Canton, although she listened at the door to the service for her husband in her house on North Market Street. She remained in Canton for the remainder of her life, setting up a shrine in her house, and often visiting the receiving vault, until her death at age 59 on May 26, 1907. She died only months before the completion of "the large marble monument to her husband in Canton, which was dedicated by President Roosevelt on September 30, 1907. William and Ida McKinley are interred there with their daughters, atop a hillside overlooking the city of Canton.
In addition to the Canton site there are many memorials to McKinley. There is "a monument at his birthplace in Niles; 20 Ohio schools bear his name. There are several schools in the United States named "McKinley School. Nearly a million dollars was pledged by contributors or allocated from public funds for the construction of McKinley memorials in the year after his death. Phillips suggests the significant number of major memorials to McKinley in Ohio reflected the expectation among Ohioans in the years after McKinley's death that he would be ranked among the great presidents. Statues to him may be found in more than a dozen states; his name has been bestowed on streets, civic organizations, and libraries. McKinley's name is also used in the large inner-city Honolulu, Hawaii high school, "President William McKinley High School.
In 1896, a gold prospector gave McKinley's name to "Denali, the tallest mountain in North America at 20,310 feet (6,190 m), in support of the then newly minted Republican nominee for President. The Alaska Board of Geographic Names changed the name of the mountain back to Denali in 1975, which is what it was called by locals. The "Department of the Interior followed suit in August 2015 as a part of a visit to Alaska by President "Barack Obama. Similarly, "Denali National Park was known as Mount McKinley National Park until December 2, 1980, when it was changed by legislation signed by President "Jimmy Carter.
Legacy and historical image
McKinley's biographer, H. Wayne Morgan remarks that McKinley died the most beloved president in history. However, the young, enthusiastic Roosevelt quickly captured public attention after his predecessor's death. The new president made little effort to secure the trade reciprocity McKinley had intended to negotiate with other nations. Controversy and public interest surrounded Roosevelt throughout the seven and a half years of his presidency as memories of McKinley faded; by 1920, according to Gould, McKinley's administration was deemed no more than "a mediocre prelude to the vigor and energy of Theodore Roosevelt's". Beginning in the 1950s, McKinley received more favorable evaluations; nevertheless, in surveys ranking American presidents, he has generally been placed near the middle, often trailing contemporaries such as Hayes and Cleveland. Morgan suggests that this relatively low ranking is due to a perception among historians that while many decisions during McKinley's presidency profoundly affected the nation's future, he more followed public opinion than led it, and that McKinley's standing has suffered from altered public expectations of the presidency.
There has been broad agreement among historians that McKinley's election was at the time of a transition between two political eras, dubbed the "Third and "Fourth Party Systems. Kenneth F. Warren emphasizes the national commitment to a pro-business, industrial, and modernizing program, represented by McKinley. Historian Daniel P. Klinghard argued that McKinley's personal control of the 1896 campaign gave him the opportunity to reshape the presidency—rather than simply follow the party platform—by representing himself as the voice of the people. However, more recently, as Republican political official "Karl Rove exalted McKinley as the agent of sweeping political realignment in the 2000s, some scholars, such as David Mayhew, questioned whether the 1896 election truly represented a realignment, thereby placing in issue whether McKinley deserves credit for it. Historian Michael J. Korzi argued in 2005 that while it is tempting to see McKinley as the key figure in the transition from congressional domination of government to the modern, powerful president, this change was an incremental process through the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Phillips writes that McKinley's low rating is undeserved, and that he should be ranked just after the great presidents such as "Washington and Lincoln. He pointed to McKinley's success at building an electoral coalition that kept the Republicans mostly in power for a generation. Phillips believes that part of McKinley's legacy is the men he included in his administration, who dominated the Republican Party for a quarter century after his death. These officials included Cortelyou, who served in three Cabinet positions under Roosevelt, and Dawes, who became vice president under "Coolidge. Other McKinley appointees who later became major figures include Day, who Roosevelt elevated to the "Supreme Court where he remained nearly twenty years, and "William Howard Taft, whom McKinley had made "Governor-General of the Philippines and who succeeded Roosevelt as president.
A controversial aspect of McKinley's presidency is territorial expansion and the question of imperialism—with the exception of the Philippines, granted independence in 1946, the United States retains the territories taken under McKinley. The territorial expansion of 1898 is often seen by historians as the beginning of "American empire. Morgan sees that historical discussion as a subset of the debate over the rise of America as a world power; he expects the debate over McKinley's actions to continue indefinitely without resolution, and notes that however one judges McKinley's actions in American expansion, one of his motivations was to change the lives of Filipinos and Cubans for the better.
Morgan alludes to the rise of interest in McKinley as part of the debate over the more assertive American foreign policy of recent decades:
McKinley was a major actor in some of the most important events in American history. His decisions shaped future policies and public attitudes. He usually rises in the estimation of scholars who study his life in detail. Even those who disagree with his policies and decisions see him as an active, responsible, informed participant in charge of decision making. His dignified demeanor and subtle operations keep him somewhat remote from public perception. But he is once again at the center of events, where he started.
- "List of Presidents of the United States
- "List of Presidents of the United States by previous experience
- "McKinley at Home, Canton, Ohio (1896 film)
- In 1896, some of McKinley's comrades lobbied for him to be belatedly awarded the "Medal of Honor for his bravery that day; Lieutenant General "Nelson A. Miles was inclined to grant McKinley the award, but when the then-President-elect heard about the effort, he declined it. See Armstrong, pp. 38–41; Phillips, p. 21.
- Until the ratification of the "20th Amendment in 1933, the Constitution prescribed that Congress begin its regular sessions in early December. See US Senate, Sessions of Congress.
- Before the passage of the "Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1913, senators were elected by state legislatures.
- Leech, p. 4; Morgan, p. 2.
- Morgan, p. 3.
- Armstrong, pp. 4–6; Morgan, pp. 2–3; Phillips, p. 13.
- Phillips, pp. 17–18; Armstrong, p. 8; Morgan, pp. 10–11.
- Phillips, p. 16; Leech, pp. 4–5.
- Morgan, pp. 9–10.
- Phillips, p. 20; Armstrong, p. 5.
- Armstrong, p. 6; Morgan, pp. 11–12.
- Armstrong, p. 1.
- Armstrong, pp. 3–4; Phillips, pp. 20–21.
- Armstrong, pp. 8–10.
- Armstrong, pp. 10–11.
- Armstrong, pp. 12–14.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 120–121; Armstrong, p. 14.
- Armstrong, pp. 15–16.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 125–26; Armstrong, pp. 18–22.
- Armstrong, pp. 22–23.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 128–30; Armstrong, pp. 24–25.
- Armstrong, pp. 25–29; Phillips, p. 21.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 136–41; Armstrong, pp. 30–33.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 141–43; Armstrong, pp. 33–36.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 146–48; Armstrong, pp. 36–38.
- Armstrong, pp. 38–41; Phillips, p. 21.
- Armstrong, pp. 43–44.
- Armstrong, pp. 44–45.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 157–58; Armstrong, pp. 47–55.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 162–64; Armstrong, p. 63–65.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 166–68; Armstrong, pp. 66–69.
- Armstrong, pp. 70–71.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 168–69; Armstrong, pp. 72–73.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 170–71; Armstrong, pp. 75–77.
- Armstrong, pp. 78–80.
- Hoogenboom, pp. 172–73; Armstrong, pp. 80–82.
- Armstrong, pp. 84–91.
- Armstrong, pp. 95–96.
- Armstrong, pp. 98–99.
- Armstrong, pp. 99–101.
- Armstrong, pp. 103–05.
- Morgan, pp. 28–30.
- Morgan, pp. 30–31.
- Morgan, pp. 31–33; Leech, pp. 12, 21.
- Leech, pp. 11–12.
- Morgan, pp. 34–35.
- Morgan, pp. 37–39; Leech, pp. 16–20.
- Morgan, pp. 39–40.
- Morgan, pp. 40–41; Weisenburger, pp. 78–80.
- Morgan, p. 42.
- Morgan, p. 43.
- McElroy, p. 31.
- William McKinley speech, Oct. 4, 1892 in Boston, MA William McKinley Papers ("Library of Congress)
- Leech, p. 20.
- Leech, p. 37.
- Morgan, p. 47.
- Horner, pp. 180–81.
- Morgan, pp. 46–47; Horner, pp. 181–82.
- Leech, pp. 36–37; Phillips, pp. 42–44.
- Morgan, p. 55.
- Phillips, pp. 60–61.
- Morgan, pp. 73–74.
- Horner, pp. 59–60, 72–78.
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- Phillips, pp. 27, 42–43.
- Phillips, p. 27.
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- Morgan, pp. 60–62.
- Jensen, pp. 150–51.
- McKinley, p. 464.
- Jensen, pp. 151–53.
- Horner, p. 46.
- Morgan, pp. 117–19.
- Williams, p. 50.
- Horner, pp. 86–87.
- Williams, p. 117.
- Gould, p. 7.
- Williams, p. 122.
- Horner, pp. 92–96.
- Morgan, pp. 128–29.
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- Phillips, p. 67.
- Phillips, pp. 69–70.
- Phillips, p. 61.
- Horner, p. 81.
- Horner, p. 92.
- Jones, p. 103.
- Jones, p. 105.
- Williams, p. 57.
- Jones, pp. 119–25.
- Jones, pp. 117–19.
- Phillips, pp. 71–72.
- Horner, pp. 159–62.
- Williams, p. 59.
- Phillips, pp. 52, 81–82.
- Cherny, pp. 55–56.
- Jones, p. 177.
- Gould, pp. 10–11.
- Leech, pp. 85–87.
- Williams, pp. 130–31.
- Leech, pp. 88–89.
- Harpine, p. 52.
- Williams, pp. 131, 226.
- Jones, p. 285.
- Jones, pp. 176–77.
- Horner, pp. 272, 318.
- Jones, p. 332.
- Leech, p. 95.
- Kazin, p. 68.
- Phillips, p. 75.
- Morgan, p. 184.
- Kazin, pp. 76–77.
- Williams, p. xi; Phillips, pp. 3, 77.
- Phillips, pp. 73–77.
- Phillips, p. 77.
- Phillips, pp. 207–08.
- Gould, pp. 17–18.
- Morgan, pp. 194–95, 285; Leech, pp. 152–53.
- Gould, p. 15; Horner, pp. 236–38.
- Gould, p. 14.
- Morgan, pp. 199–200.
- Phillips, p. 127.
- Gould, pp. 16–17, 174–76.
- Connolly, p. 29–31.
- Horner, pp. 139–40, 240–41.
- Gould, p. 60.
- Leech, p. 148.
- Gould, pp. 65–66.
- Gould, pp. 68–70.
- Gould, pp. 71–72.
- Gould, p. 74.
- Leech, pp. 171–72.
- Leech, p. 173; Gould, pp. 78–79.
- Gould, pp. 79–81.
- Gould, pp. 86–87.
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- Gould, pp. 102–03.
- Gould, p. 94; Leech, p. 191.
- Leech, pp. 203–07.
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- Gould, p. 101.
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- Leech, pp. 214–15.
- Gould, pp. 104–06.
- Gould, pp. 107–09.
- Leech, pp. 249–52.
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- Leech, pp. 253–58.
- Gould, pp. 110–12.
- Gould, pp. 112–13.
- Gould, p. 117.
- Gould, p. 116.
- Gould, pp. 118–19.
- Gould, pp. 120–21.
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- Gould, pp. 144–50; Morgan, p. 320.
- Gould, p. 48.
- Gould, pp. 49–50.
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- Lafeber, p. 714.
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- Gould, p. 233.
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- McCullough, pp. 256–59.
- Gould, pp. 44–45.
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- Louisiana Historical Assoc, Cohen.
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- Bacote, p. 234.
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- Leech, pp. 549–57.
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- Leech, p. 559.
- Miller, pp. 289–90.
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- Miller, pp. 298–300.
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- Miller, pp. 300–01.
- Miller, pp. 301–02.
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- Miller, pp. 315–17; Morgan, pp. 401–02.
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- Miller, pp. 321–30.
- Gould, p. 252.
- Morgan, pp. 402–03.
- McElroy, p. 167.
- Morgan, p. 403.
- Miller, pp. 348.
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- McElroy, p. 189.
- Olcott, p. 388.
- Phillips, p. 161.
- "Welcome to President William McKinley High School".
- Hirschfeld Davis, Julie. "Mount McKinley Will Be Renamed Denali". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
- Morgan, p. 404.
- Morgan, p. 472.
- Nice, p. 448.
- Kenneth F. Warren (2008). Encyclopedia of U.S. Campaigns, Elections, and Electoral Behavior. SAGE. p. 211. "ISBN "978-1-4129-5489-1.
- Klinghard, pp. 736–60.
- Rauchway, pp. 242–44.
- Korzi, p. 281.
- Phillips, pp. 156–57.
- Phillips, pp. 163–64.
- Phillips, p. 154.
- Phillips, p. 99.
- Morgan, p. 468.
- Morgan, p. 473.
- Armstrong, William H. (2000). Major McKinley: William McKinley and the Civil War. Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press. "ISBN "978-0-87338-657-9.
- Cherny, Robert W. (1994). A Righteous Cause: The Life of William Jennings Bryan. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. "ISBN "978-0-8061-2667-8.
- Dewey, Davis R. National Problems: 1880–1897 (1907)
- Gould, Lewis L. (1980). The Presidency of William McKinley. American Presidency. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. "ISBN "978-0-7006-0206-3.
- Harpine, William D. (2005). From the Front Porch to the Front Page: McKinley and Bryan in the 1896 Presidential Campaign. Presidential Rhetoric. 13. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. "ISBN "978-1-58544-559-2.
- "Hoogenboom, Ari (1995). Rutherford Hayes: Warrior and President. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. "ISBN "978-0-7006-0641-2.
- Horner, William T. (2010). Ohio's Kingmaker: Mark Hanna, Man and Myth. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. "ISBN "978-0-8214-1894-9.
- Jensen, Richard (1971). The Winning of the Midwest: Social and Political Conflict, 1888–1896. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. "ISBN "978-0-226-39825-9.
- Jones, Stanley L. (1964). The Presidential Election of 1896. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. "ISBN "978-0-299-03094-0.
- Kazin, Michael (2006). A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. "ISBN "978-0-375-41135-9.
- "Leech, Margaret (1959). In the Days of McKinley. New York: Harper and Brothers. "OCLC 456809.
- "McCullough, David (1977). "The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870–1914. New York: Touchstone. "ISBN "978-0-671-24409-5.
- McElroy, Richard L. (1996). William McKinley and Our America. Canton, Ohio: Stark County Historical Society. "ISBN "978-0-9634712-1-5.
- McKinley, William (1893). Speeches and Addresses of William McKinley. New York: D. Appleton and Company.
- Miller, Scott (2011). The President and the Assassin. New York: Random House. "ISBN "978-1-4000-6752-7.
- Morgan, H. Wayne (2003). William McKinley and His America (revised ed.). Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press. "ISBN "978-0-87338-765-1.
- Morgan, H. Wayne, From Hayes to McKinley: National Party Politics, 1877–1896 (1969)
- Oberholtzer, Ellis Paxson. A History of the United States since the Civil War. Volume V, 1888–1901 (Macmillan, 1937). 791pp; comprehensive old-fashioned political history
- Olcott, Charles (1916). The Life of William McKinley, 2 vol. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- "Phillips, Kevin (2003). William McKinley. New York: Times Books. "ISBN "978-0-8050-6953-2.
- Pratt, Walter F. (1999). The Supreme Court under Edward Douglass White, 1910–1921. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. "ISBN "978-1-57003-309-4.
- "Rove, Karl (2015). The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters. New York: "Simon & Schuster. "ISBN "9781476752952.
- Williams, R. Hal (2010). Realigning America: McKinley, Bryan and the Remarkable Election of 1896. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. "ISBN "978-0-7006-1721-0.
- Bacote, Clarence A. (July 1959). "Negro officeholders in Georgia under President McKinley". The Journal of Negro History. Washington, D.C.: Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. 44 (3): 217–39. "doi:10.2307/2716432. "JSTOR 2716432.
- Connolly, Michael J. (2010). "'I Make Politics My Recreation': Vice President Garret A. Hobart and Nineteenth Century Republican Business Politics". New Jersey History. Newark, New Jersey: New Jersey Historical Society. 125 (1): 29–31. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Klinghard, Daniel P. (2005). "Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and the Emergence of the President as Party Leader". Presidential Studies Quarterly. Washington, D.C.: Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. 35 (4): 736–60. "doi:10.1111/j.1741-5705.2005.00274.x. "JSTOR 27552726.
- Korzi, Michael J. (January 2004). "A New Migration of Political Forces: Party Decline and Presidential Leadership in Late Nineteenth-Century America". Polity. 36 (2): 251–82. "JSTOR 3235481.
- Lafeber, Walter (1986). "The 'Lion in the Path': The U.S. Emergence as a World Power". Political Science Quarterly. 101 (5): 705–18. "doi:10.2307/2150973. "JSTOR 2150973.
- Nice, David C. (September 1984). "The Influence of War and Party System Aging on the Ranking of Presidents". The Western Political Quarterly. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah. 37 (3): 443–55. "doi:10.2307/448445. "JSTOR 448445.
- Nichols, Jeannette P. (December 1933). "Silver Diplomacy". Political Science Quarterly. New York: Academy of Political Science. 48 (4): 565–88. "doi:10.2307/2142930. "JSTOR 2142930.
- "Rauchway, Eric (July 2005). "William McKinley and Us". The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. East Lansing, Michigan: The Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. 4 (3): 235–53. "doi:10.1017/S1537781400002644. "JSTOR 25144402.
- Weisenburger, Francis P. (June 1934). "The Time of Mark Hanna's First Acquaintance with McKinley". The Mississippi Valley Historical Review. Bloomington, Indiana: Organization of American Historians. 21 (1): 78–80. "doi:10.2307/1896406. "JSTOR 1896406.
- William McKinley: A Resource Guide, "Library of Congress
- Extensive essays on William McKinley and shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady from the "Miller Center of Public Affairs
- McKinley Assassination Ink, a documentary history of William McKinley's assassination
- "Life Portrait of William McKinley", from "C-SPAN's "American Presidents: Life Portraits, August 23, 1999
- Works by or about William McKinley at "Internet Archive
- United States Congress. "William McKinley (id: M000522)". "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- William McKinley Personal Manuscripts
- William McKinley at the "Internet Movie Database