President William Mckinley Biography
William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States. He was born in Niles, Ohio on January 29, 1843. He was the seventh child of William and Nancy Alison McKinley. McKinley father leased an iron foundry that he used to run.
The McKinley family moved to Poland, Ohio when McKinley was 9 years old. The reason behind this was to give the McKinley children an opportunity to attend a private school called Poland Academy.
As a student, McKinley enjoyed reading, public speaking and debating. At the age of 16, he joined Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, but after a short stay he came back home on account of an illness. Once he recovered, he did not go back to college as his family was facing financial problems. Instead he took up a job as a postal clerk. Later, he started teaching in a school.
When the American Civil War started, McKinley enlisted as a private under Rutherford B. Hayes, who went on to become the 19th president of the United States. In the Battle of Antietam, McKinley risked his life to bring supplies for the troops and this made him a hero and also got him promoted to a second lieutenant. At the time of leaving the army after the Civil War, McKinley held the rank of a major.
After the Civil War, McKinley studied law and then went on to work for Judge George Belden. Later, McKinley started his own law practice, and this was the time he got interested in politics. In 1869, he got elected as the prosecuting attorney for Stark County, Ohio.
He was married to Ida Saxton, who was a daughter of a local banker. They had two daughters. The second daughter, born on 1873, died after 4.5 months of being born. And, two years later the elder daughter also passed away due to typhoid fever. After this Ida became depressed and used to suffer from epileptic seizures.
In 1876, McKinley was elected to the House of Representatives. He was the governor of Ohio from 1891 to 1895. During this time he addressed issues related to child labor and proposed laws in favor of railroad workers.
In 1896, McKinley won the Republican nomination for the presidential election. He selected Garret Hobart as his running mate. He was pitted against William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic presidential candidate. While Bryan traveled all over the country to campaign, McKinley stayed with his ailing wife and gave speeches from the front porch of his house. Many thousands of people turned up to hear him speak. Even the newspapers re-printed his speeches. This was the first presidential election where campaign buttons and souvenirs like walking sticks, ribbons and baby soap were handed out to potential voters. McKinley won the election in a landslide victory.
As the president, he increased the tariff, made gold the standard for the money by passing the Dingley Tariff Act in 1897 and the Gold Standard Act in 1900. He also sent US troops to Cuba, who was fighting for independence from Spain, to protect American buildings and citizens. In addition, America went to war with Spain with Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders taking over San Juan Hill, and Commodore George Dewey sailing to the Philippines and sinking Spanish ships. The war lasted for 110 days and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Through this treaty, America got Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines besides $20 million.
In the next election, McKinley selected Theodore Roosevelt as his running mate as vice president Garret Hobart had died in office the previous year. Once again the Democratic candidate was William Bryan. Once again McKinley won the elections.
On September 5, 1901, McKinley gave a speech at the Pan American Exposition after which he was shot twice by Leon Czolgosz. And few days later, on September 14, 1901, McKinley died from the bullet wounds after he suffered from infection and gangrene.
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