25. William McKinley (1897-1901)

– fourth War-Time President

– assassinated September 6, 1901 (dies 9/14/1901)

Party: Republican – “Stand-pattism” Conservatism

Vice Presidents – Garrett Hobart; Theodore Roosevelt


  • Defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan with the aid of the Cleveland millionaire Mark Hanna
  • Wilson-Gorman Tariff is not generating enough revenue; big business favors a new tariff to protect their interests and cut down on the federal deficit – Dingley Tariff Bill is pushed through Congress (1897)
  • End of the Depression of 1893: farm prices rise, industry kicks back into gear and so does American prosperity
  • “Remember the Maine, To Hell with Spain!” 1898
  • Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot McKinley at the Pan-American Exhibition


  • S.S. Maine blows up in Havana Harbor with the deaths of 260 sailors; William Randolph Hearst’s newspaper consortium pumps up American outrage, manufacturing a de facto sense of “war” over the incident
  • Spanish-American War is sparked over Cuban Independence; this war is America’s “Coming Out Party” into world power and as an imperialist nation (aggressively taking in new territory) [April 25, 1898 – August 12, 1898] – Guam, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and American Somoa become territories of the United States
  • Annexation of Republic of Hawaii under pressure from sugar cane growers; becomes a territory in 1900
  • Boxer Rebellion in China 1900 suppressed by American and other international troops to maintain Open Door Policy 1899