William McKinley

Born January 29, 1843 - Died September 14, 1901


Brief Biography: William McKinley ran for president in 1869. He was a governor of Ohio, and he served in the U.S. Congress before running for president. McKinley also served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was most well know for starting a war with Spain because of the issue of Cuban independence, which later resulted in the U.S. gaining control over Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam. He is often credited with leading America towards becoming a global empire during his presidency. McKinley was eventually assassinated by an insane anarchist in Buffalo, New York. He had been reelected in 1900, and he was assassinated in September, 1901.

Political Philosophy: When McKinley was elected as a Republican president, he won by a landslide for his promotion of American prosperity and his support of protective tariffs. Also, his bold foreign policy helped the United States to be more active in world affairs. He believed that America should have prosperity at home and across the world.


How McKinley Dealt with Imperialism

  • McKinley had a huge influence on imperialism in the late 1800s.
  • An imperialistic event that McKinley was most famous for, was deciding to go to war with Spain in 1898.
  • McKinley officially decided to intervene in the conflict between Cuba and Spain and declare war on Spain after the naval ship, The Maine, sank in Havana's harbor in 1898.
  • The Treaty of Paris was signed in December, 1898, and ratified by Congress, and this signified the official end of the Spanish-American War. America became an imperial power after that.
  • America was able to take control over Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, and gain Cuba its independence. This boosted the economy as America went into the 20th Century.
  • McKinley's administration pursued the "Open Door Policy." This policy was aimed to support America in its commercial interests in China. It was also meant to ensure America a strong position in world markets.
  • McKinley supported the Open Door Policy in 1900 by sending troops to help stop the Boxer Rebellion. The Boxer Rebellion was a nationalist uprising that stood against foreign intervention in China.


  • McKinley's administration helped to modernize management of the press.
  • He called a session with Congress in hopes of raising custom duties, and he hoped that this could reduce taxes, and encourage the growth of domestic industry and employment for more American workers.
  • Eventually, the Dingley Tariff Act was passed, and this was the highest protective tariff in American history. His support for this act strengthened his his position with organized labor.
  • His "business friendly" administration allowed trusts to develop at a higher rate.

Accomplishments as President

  • His win at the presidential election in 1896 was the biggest win in 25 years, and he won more than a third of the votes than his opponent, William Jennings Bryan.

  • He helped to get America more involved in foreign affairs, and eventually become a global empire.

  • He declared war on Spain, and when America one the war, America became an imperial power and gained control of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. This also helped Cuba to gain its independence.

  • His administration was the one that pushed for the Open Door Policy.

  • He sent troops to help stop the Boxer Rebellion.

  • He was a big influence on improving American prosperity by supporting higher protective tariffs, the reduction of taxes, growth of domestic industry, and growth in jobs for American workers. His support lead to the Dingley Tariff Act being passed, which was the highest protective tariff in American history.
  • His administration helped to modernize the management of the press.
  • HIs administration helped to allow more trusts to develop at a higher rate.

Impact on America Today

William McKinley was a widely loved American president. He was considered to be the first truly modern American president. He played a large role in changing the management of the press. These changes influenced how the press could stay informed and receive stories, and this had a large impact on the way information was spread. He was also a president who set an example for improving American prosperity and using imperialism to make America a global empire. These influences still drive our nation in many ways today, and that is why William McKinley is still considered to be a very important president in our history.