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Source: Are We Capable of Self-Government?
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “A Business Slow-Down Nation-Wide” [chapter 4]
Author(s): Noxon, Frank W.
Publisher: Harper and Brothers Publishers
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1917
Pagination: 48-62 (excerpt below includes only pages 48-49)

Noxon, Frank W. “A Business Slow-Down Nation-Wide” [chapter 4]. Are We Capable of Self-Government? New York: Harper and Brothers, 1917: pp. 48-62.
excerpt of chapter
William McKinley (last public address); William McKinley (presidential policies); United States (economic system); McKinley assassination (impact on economy).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.
From title page: Are We Capable of Self-Government?: National Problems and Policies Affecting Business, 1900-1916.

From title page: With an Introduction by Harry A. Wheeler, First President of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States.


A Business Slow-Down Nation-Wide [excerpt]

THE struggle in New England was only a provincial phase of a larger condition. The same problem was the national problem. For the nation the commercial competitor was foreign. William McKinley, in his antemortem speech in 1901, had declared that continued prosperity for the Republic required outlets abroad for manufactures. Prophet of high tariffs for development of the “home market,” intimate personal and political associate of thick-and-thin protectionists, Mr. McKinley came to recognize that the United States had crossed the line into the class of nations which produce more manufactures than they can consume. Protection, he believed, had had its perfect work. “The era of exclusiveness,” he said, “is past.” He pointed the way across the seas. America must buy abroad if her foreign customers were to be put in position to take her products; imports must be freer.
     Judging by the past, any obstruction to this program would come from Mr. McKinley’s former associates and disciples of the protection camp not yet converted to his new policy. Since the Civil War [48][49] down to 1901 industrial and mercantile interests had sat at the head of the council board. Indeed, protectionists were active in blocking, after he was gone, the new plan proposed at Buffalo by the doomed President, their former leader. Obstruction, however, was by no means confined to business men who disagreed with McKinley. Predictions based upon past contests left out of account an entirely new condition. Controversy had thitherto waged between schools of business thought. The champions now were ethical leaders against business leaders. Czolgosz struck down not only McKinley, but the intense solicitude for material prosperity which McKinley represented. Moral and altruistic issues, long in the seed, had come to fruit. The air was filled no longer with demands that the transportation and business interests, sitting at the head of the table, should cause the government to adopt this or that policy affecting business. What people insisted upon was that these interests should not sit at the head or at the table at all.



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