Sunday, October 14, 2012

President William McKinley

William McKinley
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25th President of the United States
Under the Constitution of 1787
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901

William McKinley, Jr. was born in Niles, Ohio on January 29, 1843. He was the seventh of the nine children of William and Nancy Allison McKinley. Both of his grandfathers had fought in the Revolutionary War and his father’s father had opened a small iron foundry and settled in Niles, Ohio. His mother was a strong woman and a leader in their small village. When William was nine, she moved her family to nearby Poland, Ohio in order that they could pursue a better education, leaving their father behind for a few years to manage the family foundry.

Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200.
McKinley was enrolled at Poland Seminary, which was a private school, and he studied there for eight years. He showed great skills in oratory and became president of the Everett Literary and Debating Society. His mother held a great influence over young McKinley and he was greatly attached to her. She had hopes that he would enter the Methodist ministry and he accepted without question her strict moral standards.

When he was seventeen, McKinley went to Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. However, his studies there were cut short by an illness. He returned home in 1861 and taught school briefly. That same year as the Civil War broke out, McKinley enlisted in the 23rd Ohio Volunteers. His superior officer was Major Rutherford B. Hayes, the future president of the United States. McKinley’s bravery under fire impressed Hayes and he was promoted and eventually made an aide on Hayes’s staff. McKinley left the army in 1865 with the rank of major.

After the war, McKinley began the study of law in the office of county judge Charles E. Glidden of Youngstown. In 1866 he attended law school in Albany, New York and the following year was admitted to the Ohio bar. He settled in Canton, Ohio to practice law and participate in politics. He was moderately successful as a lawyer, but became one of Canton’s most popular citizens. He worked successfully on the campaign of Hayes, his former commanding officer. In 1869, Republican McKinley was elected the prosecuting attorney for Democratic Stark County. He also had met his future wife, Ida Saxton, daughter of a wealthy Canton businessman and banker. Two years later, on January 25, 1871, they were married. The couple had two daughters, Katherine McKinley, born in 1871 and Ida McKinley, who died after five months. After Ida’s death in 1873, Mrs. McKinley suffered a mental breakdown and when Katherine died from typhoid fever in 1873, it became more than she could bear. She suffered seizures and bouts of mental depression for the rest of her life.

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In 1876, McKinley at the age of 33 was elected to represent the northeastern Ohio district in Congress. He held that seat for 14 years with the exception of one term. He was noted for his honesty, and as a powerful speaker – a hardworking, conservative politician.

In 1889, McKinley was elected chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which developed financial legislation and he became a prominent national figure. In 1890, he wrote the McKinley Tariff Act that imposed the highest tariffs that the United States had ever placed on imports. It was devised to protect all American manufacturers but it was very unpopular because it made it hard for Americans to purchase cheap foreign goods.

McKinley attracted the attention of Cleveland industrialist, Marcus A. Hanna who was eager to be the maker of a president and to be the man who exercised power behind the scenes. McKinley was a champion of protective tariffs and an extremely popular politician and with Hanna’s help, he was elected Governor of Ohio in 1891. Governor McKinley supported tax reform including higher rates for corporations and even though he had called out the National Guard on a coal miner strike that had turned violent, he retained the support of the workingman.
In 1893, McKinley’s political career was almost ruined when a friend went bankrupt and left McKinley responsible for debt of $130,000 through bank notes he had endorsed. Hanna and his wealthy friends who repaid the debt saved McKinley.

In 1896, with the aid of Hanna, who had left his private business to devote full time to his candidacy, McKinley was nominated for the presidency. His opponent was William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic nominee. The campaign was unusual. Bryan toured the country delivering his famous “cross of gold” speech and McKinley waged a “front porch” campaign from his home in Canton. Hanna urged big businesses to rally in support of McKinley and they contributed an unprecedented sum of $3.5 million to the Republican campaign. The country was flooded with McKinley pamphlets and posters and factory managers warned their workers that a victory for Bryan would mean depression and loss of their jobs. Sweeping all the large industrial states, McKinley won the election by 271 electoral votes to Bryan’s 176. The Republicans also won control of both houses of Congress. During the next four years McKinley was able to fulfill party pledges and for the next 14 years, there was unbroken Republican control of the Presidency, the Senate and the House.

At 54 years of age, McKinley was a handsome vigorous man at his inauguration. Despite Ida’s poor health, she accompanied her husband and took part in many of the social activities of the White House. McKinley never allowed formal duties to interfere with his care for her. His attentiveness to her and his concern for domestic harmony was mirrored in his efforts to seek harmony in society at large.

In his long inaugural address, McKinley urged tariff reform, and stated that the currency issue would have to await tariff legislation. On foreign interventions he said:
We want no wars of conquest; we must avoid the temptation of territorial aggression. War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed; peace is preferable to war in almost every contingency. Arbitration is the true method of settlement of international as well as local or individual differences. 

McKinley’s most controversial Cabinet appointment was that of John Sherman as Secretary of State. Sherman was not McKinley’s first choice for the position; he initially offered it to Senator Allison. Sherman, facing a difficult reelection campaign in 1898, quickly accepted.  His appointment was swiftly confirmed when Congress despite concerns of his mental health.   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."  
President McKinley Sherman  Nomination Letter is housed in the National Archives.
In the friendly atmosphere of the McKinley Administration, industrial combinations developed at an unprecedented pace. Prosperity returned and took the demands for economic reform out of the picture. McKinley openly represented large business interests; he sponsored no reform legislation and ignored existing laws that were designed to regulate big business. But foreign policy dominated the McKinley Administration, as many businesses began to favor expanded foreign trade to obtain new markets for their products.

McKinley was true to his inaugural address and sought a peaceful resolution to the Cuban War, preferably involving an independent Cuba without American intervention. The United States and Spain began negotiations in 1897, but they quickly reached an impasse because the rebels demanded independence and Spain refused to concede an independent Cuban state.  In January 1898 American consul to Cuba, Fitzhugh Lee, reported riots in Havana, McKinley sent the battleship USS Maine to protect American lives and property.  On February 15, 1898, the Maine was rocked by an explosion, killing 258 of the crew and sinking the ship in the harbor. The cause of the explosion has not been clearly established to this day.

The American cry of the hour became, "Remember the Maine, To Hell with Spain,"  was a product of the yellow journalism that followed the explosion. Even though Spain had no interest in getting the United States involved in the conflict, Newspaper owners such as William R. Hearst leaped to the conclusion that Spanish officials in Cuba were to blame. Illustrator Frederic Remington, whom Hearst had hired to furnish island “atrocities” reported that Cuban conditions were not bad enough to warrant the newspaper's attention.  Allegedly Hearst reported that  “You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war”.

At the State Department, it turned out that Sherman’s mental health was failing and McKinley relied on Assistant Secretary of State William R. Day for the day-to-day management of the Department.  Day, a McKinley associate of long standing, was also invited to Cabinet meetings rendering Sherman a figure head.

On April 19th, Congress passed joint resolutions (by a vote of 311 to 6 in the House and 42 to 35 in the Senate) supporting Cuban independence. The resolution demanded Spanish withdrawal, and authorized the president to military force, at his discretion,  to help Cuban revolutionaries gain independence from Spain. The resolution included the Teller Amendment, named after Colorado Senator Henry Moore Teller, stipulating that “the island of Cuba is, and by right should be, free and independent”.  The amendment disclaimed any intention on the part of the United States to exercise jurisdiction or control over Cuba for other than pacification reasons, and confirmed that the armed forces would be removed once the war is over. 

On April 25 1898 President McKinley sent a Declaration of War letter :
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America:
I transmit to the Congress for its consideration and appropriate action, copies of correspondence recently had with the representative of Spain in the United States, with the United States minister at Madrid, and through the latter with the Government of Spain, showing the action taken under the joint resolution approved April 20, 1898, "for the recognition of the independence of the people of Cuba, demanding that the Government of Spain relinquish its authority and Government in the island of Cuba, and to withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters, and directing the President of the United States to use the land and naval forces of the United States to carry these resolutions into effect."
Upon communicating to the Spanish minister in Washington the demand which it became the duty of the Executive to address to the Government of Spain in obedience, to said resolution, the minister asked for his passports and withdrew.  The United States minister at Madrid was in turn notified by the Spanish minister for foreign affairs that the withdrawal of the Spanish representative from the United States had terminated diplomatic relations between the two countries, and that all official communications between their respective representatives ceased therewith.
I commend to your especial attention the note addressed to the United States minister at Madrid by, the Spanish minister of foreign affairs on the 21st instant, whereby the foregoing notification was conveyed.  It will be perceived therefrom that the Government of Spain, having cognizance of the joint resolution of the United States Congress, and in view of the things which the President is thereby required and authorized to do, responds by treating the reasonable demands of this Government as measures of hostility, following with that instant and complete severance of relations by its action which by the usage of nations accompanies an existent state of war between sovereign powers.
The position of Spain being thus made known, and the demands of the United States being denied, with a complete rupture of intercourse, by the act of Spain, I have been constrained, in the exercise of the power conferred upon me by the joint resolution aforesaid, to proclaim, under date of April 22, 1898, a blockade of certain ports of the north coast of Cuba, between Cardenas and Bahia Honda, and the port of Cienfugos, on the south coast of Cuba, and to issue my proclamation dated April 23, 1898, calling forth volunteers.
I now recommend the adoption of a joint resolution declaring that a state of war exists between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain, that the definition of the international status of the United States as a belligerent power may be made known and the assertion of all its rights in the conduct of a public war may be assured.

Secretary of State Sherman resigned on April 25, 1898 due to the war declaration, his declining health, worsening memory, and figure head status in the Cabinet.   On that same date Congress enacted a resolution declaring war on Spain. 

President McKinley had  great control over the management of the war due to advancements in the telegraph and the development of the telephone.  On May 1st, the navy had its first victory when the Asiatic Squadron, led by Commodore George Dewey,  at the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines.The Spanish Pacific Squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo was destroyed without the loss of one ship.  The 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 and would later earn Dewey the Admiral of the Navy appointment.

President McKinley nomination of George Dewey to be Admiral in the Navy. Letter is housed in the National Archives. 

In the Caribbean theater, Admiral William T. Sampson blockaded several Cuban ports while a large force of regulars and volunteers was assembled near Tampa, Florida, for an invasion of Cuba.  The Americans decided to invade Cuba and to start in Oriente where the Cubans had almost absolute control.  The rapidly expanding force had supply problems even before they departed for Cuba, but by June,but Secretary of War Corbin  resolved the challenge and the army landed in Daiquiri on June 22nd. Following resistance at Las Guasimas on June 24, Major General William Rufus 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.  Rear Admiral William T. Sampson’s North Atlantic Squadron pursued the fleet and engaged them in the largest naval battle of the war.  After the US Victory, Shafter laid siege to the city of Santiago, which surrendered on July 17, placing Cuba under effective American control.

President McKinley Nominates first Puerto Rico Governor, Charles H. Allen.  Letter is housed in the National Archives.

Spain agreed to a ceasefire  on August 12th, and treaty negotiations began in Paris in September 1898. The talks concluded on December 18th, when the Treaty of Paris was signed.  The United States acquired the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the island of Guam, and Spain relinquished its claims to Cuba. In exchange, for the territory concessions, the United States agreed to pay Spain $20 million. The Senate initially balked on ratifying the  the treaty but his lobbying, and that of Vice President Hobart, eventually resulted in a Senate 57 to 27 vote on February 6, 1899.

During the cease fire and Spanish Treaty negotiations McKinley turned his attention to Hawaii. The Hawaiian kingdom was overthrown in 1893 as a result of the intervention of foreign business interests and the U.S. military intervention under the Hayes Administration.  President Grover Cleveland had found the rebellion dishonorable and refused to annex the islands stating that the revolution did not reflect the will of Hawaiian citizens.   McKinley, however, came to office as a supporter of annexation, and after the war lobbied Congress hard for annexation. McKinley and his supporters believed that to do nothing would invite a royalist counter-revolution or a Japanese takeover.

On July 7, 1898, the following joint resolution to provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands was passed:
Whereas, the Government of the Republic of Hawaii having, in due form, signified its consent, in the manner provided by its constitution, to cede absolutely and without reserve to the United States of America, all rights of sovereignty of whatsoever kind in and over the Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies, and also to cede and transfer to the United States, the absolute fee and ownership of all public, Government, or Crown lands, public buildings or edifices, ports, harbors, military equipment, and all other public property of every kind and description belonging to the Government of the Hawaiian Islands, together with every right and appurtenance thereunto appertaining: Therefore, 
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That said cession is accepted, ratified, and confirmed, and that the said Hawaiian Islands and their dependencies be, and they are hereby, annexed as a part of the territory of the United States and are subject to the sovereign dominion thereof, and that all and singular the property and rights hereinbefore mentioned are vested in the United States of America. 
The existing laws of the United States relative to public lands shall not apply to such lands in the Hawaiian Islands; but the Congress of the United States shall enact special laws for their management and disposition: Provided, That all revenue from or proceeds of the same, except as regards such part thereof as may be used or occupied for the civil, military, or naval purposes of the United States, or may be assigned for the use of the local government, shall be used solely for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands for educational and other public purposes. 
Until Congress shall provide for the government of such islands all the civil, judicial, and military powers exercised by the officers of the existing government in said islands shall be vested in such person or persons and shall be exercised in such manner as the President of the United states shall direct; and the President shall have power to remove said officers and fill the vacancies so occasioned. 
The existing treaties of the Hawaiian Islands with foreign nations shall forthwith cease and determine, being replaced by such treaties as may exist, or as may be hereafter concluded, between the United States and such foreign nations. The municipal legislation of the Hawaiian Islands, not enacted for the fulfillment of the treaties so extinguished, and not inconsistent with this joint resolution nor contrary to the Constitution of the United States nor to any existing treaty of the United States, shall remain in force until the Congress of the United States shall otherwise determine. 
Until legislation shall be enacted extending the United States customs laws and regulations to the Hawaiian Islands the existing customs relations of the Hawaiian Islands with the United States and other countries shall remain unchanged. 
The public debt of the Republic of Hawaii, lawfully existing at the date of the passage of this joint resolution, including the amounts due to depositors in the Hawaiian Postal Savings Bank, is hereby assumed by the Government of the United States; but the liability of the United States in this regard shall in no case exceed four million dollars. So long, however, as the existing Government and the present commercial relations of the Hawaiian Islands are continued as hereinbefore, provided said Government shall continue to pay the interest on said debt. 
There shall be no further immigration of Chinese into the Hawaiian Islands, except upon such conditions as are now or may hereafter be allowed by the laws of the United States; and no Chinese, by reason of anything herein contained, shall be allowed to enter the United States from the Hawaiian Islands. 
Sec. 1. The President shall appoint five commissioners, at least two of whom shall be residents of the Hawaiian Islands, who shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, recommend to Congress such legislation concerning the Hawaiian Islands as they shall deem necessary or proper. 
Sec. 2. That the commissioners hereinbefore provided for shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. 
Sec. 3. That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to be immediately available, to be expended at the discretion of the President of the United States of America, for the purpose of carrying this joint resolution into effect.
This was followed with a letter of protest from Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii to the House of Representatives:

The House of Representatives of the United States:
I, Liliuokalani of Hawaii, named heir apparent on the 10th day of April, 1877, and proclaimed Queen of the Hawaiian Islands on the 29th day of January, 1891, do hereby earnestly and respectfully protest against the assertion of ownership by the United States of America of the so-called Hawaiian Crown Islands amounting to about one million acres and which are my property, and I especially protest against such assertion of ownership as a taking of property without due process of law and without just or other compensation
Therefore, supplementing my protest of June 17, 1897, I call upon the President and the National Legislature and the People of the United States to do justice in this matter and to restore to me this property, the enjoyment of which is being withheld from me by your Government under what must be a misapprehension of my right and title.
Done at Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, this nineteenth day of December, in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight.

McKinley’s popularity in his first term assured him of a Republican renomination and subsequent re-election for a second.  In 1899 Vice President Hobart had fallen ill and after a vacation with the McKinleys on Lake Champlain, he wnr to his home in Paterson, New Jersey in September. On November 1, 1899, the government announced that Hobart would not return to public life. His condition deteriorated rapidly, and he died on November 21, 1899 at age 55.President McKinley told the family, "No one outside of this home feels this loss more deeply than I do. McKinley, thus, needed a new running mate and favored Elihu Root, who had succeeded Alger as Secretary of War. McKinley decided that Secretary Root was to of an important leader 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.

In 1900, McKinley again mounted a campaign against William Jennings Bryan. Although McKinley did not personally campaign, young Roosevelt made numerous appearances on behalf of the ticket. McKinley received the largest popular majority ever given a presidential candidate up to that time. He led in electoral votes 292 to 155.

On March 4, 1901, McKinley was inaugurated for a second time. His term began auspiciously, but came to a tragic end in September. He appeared at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York to make an important speech on America’s world role. On September 6th, while greeting visitors in the Temple of Music at the fair, twice Leon Czolgosz, a deranged anarchist, shot McKinley. One bullet grazed his ribs and a second bullet penetrated his abdomen. The crowd pounced upon Czolgosz and only McKinley’s order “Don’t let them hurt him” saved Czolgosz from a fatal beating. Despite early hopes for his recovery, McKinley died eight days later on September 14, 1901 in Buffalo. Czolgosz was executed in October in Auburn, New York.  According to Mckinley biographer Lewis Gould, “The nation experienced a wave of genuine grief at the news of McKinley’s passing.”

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The Second United American Republic
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Media Alert
July 2nd, 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana 
After 102 Years, The Federal Government Finally Agrees: Samuel Huntington And Not John Hanson Was The First USCA President to Serve Under The Articles of Confederation.
Historian Stanley Yavneh Klos Pleads With Maryland To Stop Funding Efforts That Purport John & Jane Hanson As The First President & First Lady Of The United States.

By: Stanley Yavneh Klos

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.