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Publication information
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Source: Reconstruction and Union, 1865-1912
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “The Golden Age of Materialism” [chapter 8]
Author(s): Haworth, Paul Leland
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1912
Pagination: 195-209 (excerpt below includes only pages 207-09)

 
Citation
Haworth, Paul Leland. “The Golden Age of Materialism” [chapter 8]. Reconstruction and Union, 1865-1912. New York: Henry Holt, 1912: pp. 195-209.
 
Transcription
excerpt of chapter
 
Keywords
McKinley assassination; William McKinley (personal character); William McKinley (political character).
 
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; Marcus Hanna.
 
Notes
From title page: By Paul Leland Haworth, Ph.D., Author of “The Hayes-Tilden Election,” “The Path of Glory,” etc.; Collaborator on “A History of the United States and Its People;” Sometime Lecturer in History, Columbia University and Bryn Mawr College.
 
Document

 

The Golden Age of Materialism [excerpt]

     On the following day he held a public reception in the Temple of Music and shook hands with all who came to greet him. While thus engaged he was shot twice in the body by a young anar- [207][208] chist named Leon C. Czolgosz, who was subsequently executed for the deed. The wounded man survived for a few days, and the physicians held out hopes of his recovery. But one of the wounds proved more serious than they had supposed; on the 14th the president died, the third American president to be assassinated in less than forty years, a record of which the nation has no reason to be proud. He was buried at his old home in Canton, and at the hour of the ceremonies, by universal agreement, all business activities throughout the country were suspended.
     In the dead man’s private life there had been much to commend. He was religious, devoted to his wife, temperate, dignified, kindly, gentle. Intellectually he was not endowed with originality, but he possessed shrewdness, tact, and the faculty of taking advice. Although no orator, he always secured a hearing. As a politician, he knew how to hold his ear close to the ground and understood the immense advantage to be derived from the support of great financial interests. An opportunist rather than a statesman, he was consistent only in that he shaped his action to the party’s wishes and demands. Yet he was not truly democratic nor did he guard carefully the true interests of democracy. His complaisance towards men of wealth and interests representing wealth and the influence exerted over him by the corruptionist Hanna form blots that time will hardly efface, yet in his behalf it can be urged that probably he did not thoroughly understand the tendencies of the times. It was [208][209] his fortune to be president at a period that was epoch-making, and hence his place in history will probably be larger than that of some abler men. Under him the United States definitely forsook its time-honored policy of isolation and became a world power. He also ruled in the golden age of American materialism.

 

 


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