Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
City of publication: London, England
Date of publication: 17 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: 36562
|[untitled]. Times [London] 17 Sept. 1901 n36562: p. 7.|
|William McKinley (death: personal response); William McKinley (death: international response); William McKinley (mourning); Theodore Roosevelt; Roosevelt presidency (predictions, expectations, etc.).|
|Marcus Hanna; Abraham Lincoln; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt.|
The deep impression produced throughout the United
States by the death of P
In the centres of commerce and industry in the United States the public sorrow has shown itself in an unwontedly subdued tone and an absence of any visible evidence of excitement. Almost all the conspicuous edifices, public or private, in New York are draped in black—the singular exception being that the buildings belonging to the Federal Government, being forbidden by law, display no signs of mourning. After lying in state in the City Hall at Buffalo, the late P ’ body was removed yesterday to Washington, whence it will be carried to-night to his home at Canton, in Ohio. The funeral will, undoubtedly, be the most remarkable demonstration of public affliction that has been witnessed in America since A L ’ remains were carried to their last resting-place. M . M K had won the esteem and affection of his fellow-citizens, and the policy which he pursued in office was the outcome, both in its strength and in its weakness, of the varying opinions of the American people. His domestic virtues and the simplicity of his life endeared him to a nation among whom, in spite of the vast development of wealth and of the growing temptations to luxury, the Puritan tradition is still a powerful force. The day of mourning proclaimed, as his first official act, by M . M K ’ successor will be no merely formal testimony to the grief of the nation. It will express feelings intensified by the reaction from highly-wrought hopes to the cruel certainty that the assassin had been successful in his crime. The keenest sympathy for the bereaved and suffering wife of the late Chief of the State is a factor in the condition of the public mind the importance of which can hardly be overestimated.
The new P of the United States is, fortunately, exempted from the necessity of facing a general election before he has to decide upon and announce a policy. He occupies, in fact, a position of peculiar independence. As a general rule the Vice-President has been chosen, not as the most fitting person to succeed the actual Chief of the Executive in the case of death or resignation, but for merely party reasons. M . R ’ predecessors have been nominated and elected either to give a sop to a defeated or disappointed section of the victorious party, or to gratify some powerful State of which the “Favourite Son” has been left out of the running. But the statesman for whom M . M K ’ death has opened the way to the highest place in the Republic had the honour thrust upon him by an irresistible movement of public opinion. He did not himself desire a place which, as it seemed, must relegate him to political quietude, if not to political impotence, during four eventful years. Still less was his nomination desired by the powerful organization governed by S H , which dominated the Republican party, and of which M . M K was the chosen representative. But the popular will which compelled M . R to accept the office of Vice-President, with hardly any other duties than those of the chairmanship of the Senate, has, in the actual event, given him for three years and a half the control of the executive power in the United States, with the prospect, if his administration is successful, of becoming the unchallenged candidate of his party at the next election to the Presidency. M . R ’ high character, his unquestioned ability, his literary gifts, and his remarkable strength of will are qualities which ought to secure him a distinguished place in the roll of the Presidents of the Union. It is too soon to conjecture whether P R will add to these advantages the saving leaven of a wise and far-seeing prudence. He is an American Imperialist, and, though he has said that he will continue to proceed upon the lines of M . M K ’ policy, it is not certain that he will give the same interpretation as his predecessor to the somewhat vague phrases in which that policy was set forth. In this country there will be no disposition to form any unfriendly prejudgment of M . R ’ Administration. The pessimistic forecasts of some organs of opinion in Germany and Austria, though ostensibly based upon a belief in M . R ’ anti-German feeling, have probably a different origin. The jealousy of the prosperity and the expansion of the Anglo-Saxon race which is at the root of the virulence of the criticism directed against this country abroad is a main element also in the bitterness against “Americanism” on the Continent.