Publication information

Recent History of the United States
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “The Campaign of 1900” [chapter 27]
Author(s): Paxson, Frederic L.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Place of publication: Boston, Massachusetts
Year of publication:
Pagination: 264-73 (excerpt below includes only pages 271-72)

Paxson, Frederic L. “The Campaign of 1900” [chapter 27]. Recent History of the United States. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1921: pp. 264-73.
excerpt of chapter
McKinley assassination (impact on society).
Named persons
Emilio Aguinaldo; Marcus Hanna; John Hay; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt; Elihu Root.
From title page: By Frederic L. Paxson, Professor of History in the University of Wisconsin; Sometime Major, U.S.A. Historical Branch, General Staff; Author, The New Nation.

The Campaign of 1900

     The winter of 1900, with the presidency settled, with all fears of repudiation expelled, and with four more years of administrative continuity assured, has had no equal among periods of industrial confidence. Both capital and labor looked forward to a future of unchecked development, and the organizations of both the trusts and the unions were [271][272] increased in size and projected further throughout the people. The feeling of assurance pervading the country was partly based upon the absence of any disturbing national program. The two things for which the Republican Party had perfected its organization in 1896 had been accomplished. The Dingley tariff of 1897 was producing an abundant revenue. The gold standard had been proclaimed as the official basis of national commerce. No great legislative programs involving fundamental change were pending. The national need for a canal at Panama was within reach of gratification. The defects in administrative organization that the Spanish War had disclosed were in process of correction under the wise control of Elihu Root. John Hay was extending American ideals of fair play across the Pacific.
     The inaugural ceremony of March 4, 1901, was the most imposing ceremonial of its kind that had been seen, but lacked significance as a public event. The Cabinet of McKinley needed no reorganization and received none. The second term seemed likely to inspire only the uninteresting annals of a happy people. This happiness was increased when toward the end of March the insurgent leader Aguinaldo was taken prisoner, bringing the Philippine revolt so nearly to an end that it was possible to think of establishing civil government in the islands.
     The assassination of McKinley at Buffalo in September, 1901, destroyed this certainty at a single stroke. It brought into the presidency on September 14 a new personality that spoke for a later generation and a different era. It removed the basis for the rigid political organization of which Senator Hanna was the chief engineer, and opened the way for aspiring politicians in the Middle West to push upon the party councils their demands that a program of national and social betterment be formulated and adopted.