Biography of William McKinley (1843-1901)

Lawyer and American politician, twenty-fifth President of the United States of America (1897-1901). He was born on January 29, 1843, in Niles (Ohio State), and died on September 14, 1901, in Buffalo (NYS), victim of the shooting carried out by anarchist Leon Czolgosz, on 6 September, while attending a Pan-American exhibition. During his administration, Mckinley faithful to its financial policy with the support of the pattern followed gold and marked sign protectionist laws. In foreign policy, he advocated with imperial China named Open Door ("open door") policy and initiated an expansive and imperialist line with the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, and after the Hispanic Guerra, Puerto Rico, Guam and Philippines (1898), to, finally, formally occupy the island of Cuba in the year 1899.

First years

Member of a devout Methodist family and son of an iron smelter, when he was just nine years his family moved to the small town of Poland (Ohio State), where he studied at Allegheny School, private religious entity, which only was a year for reasons of come out. At the outbreak of the civil war, McKinley enlisted as a volunteer in the armies of the Union, in 23 Ohio Regiment, serving under the direct orders of the future President Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881), who soon made him his aide-de-camp and promoted him to the grade of major, as well as introduce you to the world of politics, so itas a result, McKinley became a supporter of the political projects of this.

Political career

Once finished the war, McKinley was able to finish the race of law at the University of Albany (New York State). In the year 1867, McKinley established his own law firm in Canton (Ohio State), where, thanks to its excellent oratorical qualities, soon became a key element in the campaign of his mentor Hayes for Governor of the State. In addition he was appointed District Attorney of the County of Canton, in 1869. Convinced by the local members of the Republican party, McKinley left the legal profession to devote himself entirely to politics. He was elected in 1877, a member of the House of representatives in Washington for the State of Ohio, since he held until 1890. During his time as a Congressman, Mckinley reinforced his influence within the party due to its unconditional support to the rise of tariffs as protection against competition from foreign products.

Protected by the powerful group of industrialists and financiers of the North, led by Mark Hanna iron magnate, at that time one of the heavyweights of republicanism, McKinley was that Congress approve the Bill that bore his name, Bill McKinley, enacted on November 1, 1890, under which considerably increased the rates of customs for a good number of foreign products, especially those that could harm the interests of the industrial and financial lobbies in the country. Thanks to this measure, the French and British products suffered a strong decline in the country. But law affected greatly class average and worker for farmers and merchants, in particular, the southern agricultural States, which caused the precipitous fall in his popularity and the loss of his seat in the Congress in the elections of that year.

The road to the Presidency

Despite this setback, the lobby of Hanna continued protecting his political career so efficiently that, in the year 1892, McKinley managed to be elected Governor of Ohio. He remained in this position until 1896, date in which the Republican Party National Convention, held in St. Louis (Missouri State), ran him as a presidential candidate to face Democrat William j. Bryan. In the course of the presidential campaign, McKinley followed counting with the support of Hanna and, therefore of all the party electoral machinery. He defended the rise of tariffs as a means of protection to companies and work against foreign imports market, matter of particular significance at a time when the United States had just started the second and final phase of its industrialization process. He also defended the preeminence of the gold standard against the postulated by their opponent Bryan, which advocated the unlimited coinage of silver coins, which would have increased the inflation in the country's economy.

The Presidency of William McKinley

After an overwhelming victory over his opponent by 271 votes to 176, on 4 March 1897, McKinley was inaugurated President of the United States of America, which did not stop its presidential election was put in doubt by the democratic forces, which accused the Republican Party of buying votes in most of the States.

Domestic policy

With the Republican majority in both houses of Congress, McKinley did easy to achieve approval, in 1897, another protectionist tariff still harder than the year 1890, and another law that reinforced the pattern gold, in 1900, which managed to increase confidence in the media business in the country to invest in the process of industrialization. With these measures, the country's economy dramatically recovered from deep depression that dragged since the conclusion of the civil war. Since then, economic success was associated with the Republican party, which managed to stay in power, except the presidential interlude of Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) until the year 1933.

Foreign policy

The internal politics of McKinley was soon relegated to the background because of the important foreign problems as a result of the Cuban nationalist uprising against the Dominion of the Crown of Spain. Although McKinley had declared in his presidential campaign supporter of the independence of the island, in its first year in the White House bypassed the problem completely. But when the indigenous revolt erupted with much more force and threatened own territorial integrity of United States, at the beginning of 1898, McKinley decided to intervene, under pressure from large U.S. financial and speculative groups with interests in the Cuban sugar cane and tobacco production. After a strip tug-of-war diplomat between Madrid and Washington, in which there were also threats of invasion by the United States and certain notes of patriotism obsolete by the Spanish authorities, McKinley suggested the purchase of Cuba in the Congress, but the senators, headed by own Secretary of war Day, refused in round since Cuba could fall into hands American without spending a single dollar.

Blowing up the old American destroyer Maine, on February 15, 1898, anchored in the port of Havana, served as a pretext to McKinley to unleash an unequal clearly between both countries war. As a result of the confrontation, which lasted three months, Spain ended up losing their last possessions colonial overseas in favor of the United States, as the islands of Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Philippines (see contemporary history of the Philippines), apart from the own Cuba, formally occupied by the United States in 1889.

Root of the Platt Amendment in the year 1901, United States came to exercise a protectorate over the island. The imperialist war developed in the Caribbean allowed United States start in world politics as a great power, which aroused a great controversy within the country's political circles to abandon the traditional policy neutral, President James Monroe (1817-1825) sanctioned with the Monroe doctrine that bore his name.

In 1900, McKinley was presented to the President's re-election taking advantage of the period of prosperity and economic boom that crossed the country. He again returned to defeat his former opponent, Bryan, by a wider margin than in the previous presidential election.

Alarmed by financial growth and influence in the national political life of the trust, McKinley proposed introducing a series of changes to limit the scope of these financial giants. But his intentions came dashed when, in the presentation of this programme in the heat of the Pan American Trade Convention in Buffalo, he was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. Taken urgently to the nearest hospital, McKinley died on September 14, 1901. As it established the country's Constitution, presidential power assumed the Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.

Bibliography

COOKE, Donald. E: atlas of the presidents. New Jersey: Hammond Incorporated, 1977.

FERNÁNDEZ SUAREZ-beard, Mario: History of the United States of America: the bourgeois Republic to presidential power. Madrid: Marcial Pons, 1997.

JONES, Maldwyn. A: history of the United States (1607-1992). Madrid: Cátedra, 1995.

MORISON, Samuel Eliot: Brief history of the United States. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993.

C. Herraiz García.