William McKinley (1843-1901).jpg

William McKinley was a Republican president when Republicans were still sometimes good. Before becoming president McKinley fought on the side of the Union during the Civil War leaving as a major. McKinley later was twice elected governor of Ohio.

He introduced protectionist tariffs which were popular in the United States at the time. McKinley started a war with Spain which liberated Cuba from Spanish rule but also took over Guam, The Philippines and Puerto Rico starting the tradition of American imperialism.

William McKinley won a second term but an Anarchist called Leon Czolgosz (who was considered deranged) shot him, McKinley died several days later in hospital. Theodore Roosevelt who was his Vice President took over as president. [1] [2]

Pros & Cons


  • Helped the American economy with higher tariffs on imports
  • As a chairman to the House of Representatives, drafted the McKinley Act
  • As President, led America to victory against Spain
  • Last to fight in the American Civil War
  • Annexed Hawaii
  • America prospered economically during his presidency
  • Choose Progressive Theodore Roosevelt as his Vice President


  • The McKinley Act ended up backfiring
  • Started America’s transition into an Imperial power
  • Declared war against Spain under false pretenses
  • During the Spanish-American War, the military took over the Philippines through excessive force
  • Upon occupying the Philippines, the US then mercilessly crushed the Filipino rebellion
  • His image was tainted by his campaign’s corporate supporters

See also