William McKinley

William McKinley
William McKinley
  • Born: January 29, 1843
  • Died: September 14, 1901
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: President









William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until his assassination six months into his second term. McKinley led the nation to victory in the Spanish–American War, raised protective tariffs to promote American industry and kept the nation on the gold standard in a rejection of free silver (effectively, expansionary monetary policy).

Quotes About
Author Quote
Theodore Roosevelt It shall be my aim to continue absolutely unbroken the policy of President McKinley for the peace and prosperity and the honor of our beloved country.
Anonymous Elect [William] McKinley, the Advance Agent of Prosperity.
Anonymous [William] McKinley, Protection, and Prosperity.
Joseph Cannon He kept his ear so close to the ground that it was full of grasshoppers.
Colliers Those who know Governor Roosevelt [TR] must believe that he is much better fitted for the Presidency than is Mr. McKinley.
Leon Czolgosz I don't believe we should have any rulers. It is right to kill them.
Leon Czolgosz I didn't believe one man should have so much services and another man should have none.
Samuel Fessenden Joe, God Almighty hates a quitter. I have been a soldier in actual war, and I am a faithful soldier of Reed now, but my general [i.e. Manley] has deserted me.
Elbert Hubbard [President] McKinley gave [Lt. Andrew Sommers] Rowan a letter to be delivered to [General Calixto] Garcia: Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the eternal, there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college in the land. It is not book learning that young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust to act promptly, concentrate their energies, do the thing—"carry a message to Garcia.
Walter Karp William McKinley waged a war against Spain for no national interest except America's alleged "friendship" toward the Cuban rebels and our "traditional" anticolonialism. The only economic interest involved, namely Wall Street investors in Cuba, opposed the prospective war, since they preferred doing business with Cuba's Spanish overlords rather than with the insurgents. When McKinley started the war, however, the great "powers" of Wall Street promptly shut up and went along.
Rutherford B. Hayes [McKinley] is on a stumping tour ... I criticized the bloody-shirt course of the canvass [campaign]. It seems to me it is bad "politics," and of no use.... An increasing number of people are interested in good relations with the South.
Mark A. Hanna Your duty to the Country, is to live for four years.
Henry B.F. Macfarland President McKinley has not been unmindful of the evil of the commercial combinations which will always go by the misnomer "trusts." He did all that he could do to meet them under the law through the Department of Justice, and all that he could do to strengthen the law by recommendations to Congress
J. Pierpont Morgan We have to buy our own President
Walter Wellman Where Mr. McKinley was patient, cautious, tactful and a very good listener…, Roosevelt is impetuous, impatient, and wholly lacking in tact.
Theodore Roosevelt The vice-presidency ought to be abolished. The man who occupies it may at any moment be everything; but meanwhile he is practically nothing. I do not think that the President wants me to take part in affairs or give him advice.
William Jennings Bryan If we steal a man’s purse we are thieves. If we steal twelve hundred islands, we are patriots. If you steal a man’s money, you will be sent to the penitentiary. If you steal his liberty, you will be sent to the White House.
Quote Topics Cited
... there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
... we need Hawaii as much and a good deal more than we did California; it is Manifest Destiny. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
... you may be sure there will be no jingo nonsense under my administration. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
[Referring to Cuba:] I speak not of forcible annexation, for that cannot be thought of. That by our code of morality would be criminal aggression. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
… It should be the earnest wish and paramount aim of the military administration to win the confidence, respect, and affection of the inhabitants of the Philippines by assuring them in every possible way that full measure of individual rights and liberties which is the heritage of free peoples, and by proving to them that the mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation substituting the mild sway of justice and right for arbitrary rule. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
… there is no North, no South, no East, no West, but all Americans forever. Citizenship & Patriotism
A good woman is one who loves her husband and loves her country and has no desire to run either of them. Voters, Voting & Elections
A man's best gift to his country—his life's blood. Military & Veterans
Annexation [of Hawaii] is not a change; it is a consummation. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Architecture has paid high tribute to the leaders of mankind. Memorials, Monuments, Medals, Statues & Buildings
Be not content with what you have or are. Human Nature
Blessed is that country whose soldiers fight for it and are willing to give the best they have, the best that any man has, their own lives, to preserve it, because they love it. Such an army the United States has always commanded in every crisis of its history. War & Peace
Business conditions are not the most promising. It will take time to restore the prosperity of former years. If we cannot promptly attain it, we can resolutely turn our faces in that direction and aid its return by friendly legislation. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Chief of Mails Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Commerce is a teacher and a pacificator. It gives mankind knowledge one of another. Reciprocity of trade promotes reciprocity of friendship. Good trade insures good will. … and wherever we secure just and fair commercial relations with other nations, we are sure to have with them friendly political relations. Foreign Trade
Congress is the voice, the conscience, and the judgment of the American people Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Courts, not mobs, must execute the penalties of the law. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Economy is demanded in every branch of the government at all times, but especially in periods like the present, of depression in business and distress among the people. The severest economy must be observed in all public expenditures, and extravagance stopped wherever it is found, and prevented wherever in the future it may be developed. If the revenues are to remain as now, the only relief that can come must be from decreased expenditures. But the present must not become the permanent condition of the government. Management & Managing Government
Free trade will bring widespread discontent. It will revolutionize values. It will take away more than one half the earning capacity of brain and brawn. Foreign Trade
God puts no nation in supreme place which will not do supreme duty. God keeps no nation in supreme place which will not perform its supreme duty … Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Half-heartedness never won a battle. Human Nature
How priceless is a liberal education ! In itself what a rich endowment ! It is not impaired by age, but its value increases with use. No one can employ it but its rightful owner. He alone can illustrate its worth and enjoy its rewards. It cannot be inherited or purchased. It must be acquired by individual effort. It can be secured only by perseverance and self-denial. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I am a tariff man standing on a tariff platform. Foreign Trade
I am afraid he is too pugnacious... I want peace... Theodore is always getting into rows with everybody Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I am glad that we are demonstrating in the United States to-day that the boy should have no more advantage than the girl. Equality & Equal Opportunity
I am glad to be at the home of the martyred President. His name is an inspiration, and a holy one, to all lovers of liberty the world over. He saved the Union. He liberated a race a race which he once said ought to be free because there might come a time when these black men could help keep the jewel of liberty within the family of freedom. If any vindication of that act or of that prophecy were needed, it was found when these brave black men ascended the hill of San Juan in Cuba and charged the enemy at El Caney. They vindicated their own title to liberty on that field, and, with our other brave soldiers, gave the priceless gift of liberty to another suffering race. Citizenship & Patriotism
I can no longer be called the President of a party. I am now the president of the whole people. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I could not have told where those damned islands were within 2,000 miles. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
I do not sympathize with the sentiment that Congress in session is dangerous to our general business interests. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I don't propose to be swept off my feet by the catastrophe. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
I have been through one war. I have seen the dead piled up and I do not want to see another. War & Peace
I know of no better or safer human tribunal than the people. Public Opinion & Polling
I might as well put up a trapeze on my front lawn and compete with some professional athlete, as go out speaking against Bryan. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I must have money to get ready for war. I am doing everything possible to prevent war but it must come, and we are not prepared. Military & Veterans
I recommend that, in recognition of the signal act of heroism of First Lieutenant Frank H. Newcomb, United States Revenue Cutter Service, above set forth, the thanks of Congress be extended to him and to his officers and men of the HUDSON; and that a gold medal of honor be presented to Lieutenant Newcomb, and silver medal of honor to each of his crew who served with him at Cardenas . Discrimination & Prejudice
I want peace [in my administration] and I am told that your friend Theodore [Roosevelt]—whom I know only slightly—is always getting into rows with everybody. I am afraid he is too pugnacious. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
If, following the clear precepts of duty, territory falls to us, and the welfare of an alien people requires our guidance and protection, who will shrink from the responsibility, grave though it may be? Can we leave these people, who, by the fortunes of war and our own acts, are helpless and without government, to chaos and anarchy, after we have destroyed the only government they have had? Having destroyed their government, it is the duty of the American people to provide for them a better one. Shall we distrust ourselves, shall we proclaim to the world our inability to give kindly government to oppressed peoples whose future, by the vicissitudes of war is confided to us? We may wish it were otherwise, but it is our duty now ?. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Illiteracy must be banished from the land. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Isolation is no longer possible or desirable. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Let no one hurt him. Capital Punishment, Dealth Penalty & State Execution
McKinley drinks soda water, Bryan drinks rum; McKinley is a gentleman, Bryan is a Bum. Slogans & Mottoes
Most of our financial laws are the outgrowth of experience and trial, and should not be amended without investigation and demonstration of the wisdom of the proposed changes. We must both be sure we are right and make haste slowly. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
My countrymen, the currents of destiny flow through the hearts of the people. Who will check them ? Who will divert them? Who will stop them? Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Nations do not grow in strength … by the doing of easy things. Development & Growth
No solid South, no solid North, save when solid for the flag and the Union. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
No subject can better engage our attention than the promotion of trade and commerce at home and abroad. Domestic conditions are sure to be improved by larger exchanges with the nations of the world. We are already reaching out with good results. Our surplus products of agriculture and manufacture are finding a foreign market, and in the latter case to a degree which would not have been believed possible a quarter of a century ago. We have made wonderful progress in this direction, and have only just begun. Our manufactured products go to every nation of the world, and I hope the time may be not far distant when our ships, under the Stars and Stripes, will be on every sea where commerce is carried and the wants of mankind are to be supplied. Foreign Trade
Nothing has ever been made plainer at a general election than that the controlling principle in the raising of revenue from duties on imports is zealous care for American interests and American labor. The people have declared that such legislation should be had as will give ample protection and encouragement to the industries and the development of our country. Foreign Trade
On behalf of endangered American interests …. War & Peace
One hundred years ago free schools were little known in the United States. There were excellent schools for the well-to-do and charitable institutions for the instruction of boys and girls without means; but the free public school, open alike to the children of the rich and poor and supported by the State, awaited creation and development. The seed planted soon bore fruit. Free schools were the necessary supplement of free men. The wise and liberal provisions for public instruction by the fathers, second only in effect to their struggle for the independence and creation of the Union, were destined at no distant date to produce the most wonderful results. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Our differences are policies, our agreements principles. Policy & Policy Making
Our naturalization and immigration laws should be further improved to the constant promotion of a safer, a better, and a higher citizenship. A grave peril to the Republic would be a citizenship too ignorant to understand or too vicious to appreciate the great value and beneficence of our institutions and laws, and against all who come here to make war upon them our gates must be promptly and tightly closed. Immigration & Emigration
Our patriotism is neither sectional nor sectarian. We may differ in our political and religious beliefs, but we are united for country. Loyalty to the government is our national creed. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Patriotism must be faithful as well as fervent; statesmanship must be wise as well as fearless not the statesmanship which will command the applause of the hour, but the judgment of posterity. Leaders & Leadership
Responsible citizenship comes from direct participation in the conduct of the government, and imposes equal responsibility upon every citizen. If we could quicken and increase appreciation of this responsibility, and every citizen were made to feel its weight and importance, it would go far toward improving our political and national life. Citizenship & Patriotism
Resuscitation will not be promoted by recrimination. The distrust of the present will not be relieved by a distrust of the future. A patriot makes a better citizen than a pessimist. And we have got to be patient. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Such recognition is not necessary in order to enable the United States to intervene and pacify the Island. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
The century of free government which the American have enjoyed … have fitted them for the great task of lifting up and assisting to better conditions and larger liberty those distant people who have … become our wards. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
The consciences of the American people will not be permitted to slumber until this great constitutional right, the equality of the suffrage, equality of opportunity, freedom of political action and political thought, shall not be the mere cold formalities of constitutional enactment as now, but a living birthright which the poorest and humblest, white or black, native born or naturalized citizen, may confidently enjoy, and which the richest and most powerful dare not deny. Freedom & Liberty
The gold dollar shall be the standard unit of value. For all forms of money issued or coined in the United States, it shall be maintained at a parity with this standard. Money, Coins & Minting
The government and people are inseparable under our system. We could not separate the government from the people if we would, and we would not if we could. This unity is the strength of our political structure. Democracies & Republics
The majority voice should be controlling ... after a full, fair, and candid expression. Legislating & Legislative Process
The march of events rules and overrules human action. Policy & Policy Making
The mission of the United States [to the Philippine Islands] is one of benevolent assimilation, submitting the mild sway of justice and right for arbitrary rule. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
The money of the United States is, and must forever be, unquestioned and unassailable. If doubts remain, they must be removed. If weak places are discovered, they must be strengthened. Money, Coins & Minting
The natives of the islands . . . shall he afforded the opportunity to manage their own local affairs to the fuIIest extent of which they are capable, and . . . which a careful study of their capacities and observation of the workings of native control show to be consistent with the maintenance of law, order, and loyalty. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
The peace which we are pledged to leave to the Cuban people must carry with it the guaranties of permanence. We became sponsors for the pacification of the island, and we remain accountable to the Cubans, no less than to our own country and people, for the reconstruction of Cuba as a free commonwealth on abiding foundations of right, justice, liberty, and assured order. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
The people have borne the additional taxation made necessary by the war with the same degree of patriotism that characterized the soldiers who enlisted to fight the country’s battles. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
The progress of a nation can alone prevent degeneration. There must be new life and purpose or there will be weakness and decay. There must be broadening of thought as well as broadening of trade. Territorial expansion is not alone and always necessary to national advancement. There must be a constant movement toward a higher and nobler civilization, a civilization that shall make its conquests without resort to war, and achieve its greatest victories pursuing the arts of peace. In our present situation, duty and duty alone should prescribe the boundary of our responsibilities and the scope of our undertakings. Development & Growth
The public mind can, therefore, repose in reasonable security, while business will proceed without apprehension of serious and sudden changes, so disturbing to the commercial world and so distracting to the business man. Business, Commerce & Finance
There has been in many quarters severe criticism of the conduct of the war with Spain. Charges of criminal neglect of the soldiers in camp and field and hospital and in transports have been so persistent that, whether true or false, they have made a deep impression upon the country. It is my earnest desire that you shall thoroughly investigate these charges, and make the fullest examination of the administration of the War Department in all of its branches, with the view to establishing the truth or falsity of these accusations. I put upon you no limit to the scope of your investigation. Of all departments connected with the army I invite the closest scrutiny and examination, and shall afford every facility for the most searching inquiry. The records of the War Department and the assistance of its officers shall be subject to your call. Military & Veterans
There was nothing left for us to do but to take them [the Philippine Islands] all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
This great country cannot be permanently kept in a state of relapse. I believe we will reoccupy the field temporarily lost to us, and go out to the peaceful conquest of new and greater fields of trade and commerce. The recovery will come slowly, perhaps, but it will come, and when it does we will be steadier and will better know how to avoid exposure hereafter. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
To this nation and to every nation there come formative periods in its life and history. New conditions can be met only by new methods. Meeting these conditions hopefully, and facing them bravely and wisely, is to be the mightiest test of American virtue and capacity. Without abandoning past limitations, traditions, and principles, by meeting present opportunities and obligations, we shall show ourselves worthy of the great trusts which civilization has imposed upon us. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Unlike any other nation, here the people rule, and their will is the supreme law. Public Opinion & Polling
War room Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed; peace is preferable to war in almost every contingency. Arbitration is the true method of settlement of international as well as local or individual differences. Negotiating & Negotiations
Wars and revolutions cannot be prescribed and the circle of their influence determined in advance. War & Peace
We gain by intelligent discussion of public questions carried on, … not from a standpoint of partisanship, but of good citizenship. Citizenship & Patriotism
We have quit discussing the tariff, and have turned our attention to getting trade wherever it can be found. Foreign Trade
We have restored order and established domestic tranquility. We have fed the starving, clothed the naked, and ministered to the sick. We have improved the sanitary condition of the island. We have stimulated industry, introduced public education, taken a full and comprehensive enumeration of the inhabitants Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is Manifest Destiny. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
We shall never war except for peace. War & Peace
We want a foreign market for our surplus products. Foreign Trade
We want no wars of conquest; we must avoid the temptation of territorial aggression. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
We want no wars of conquest; we must avoid the temptation of territorial aggression. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
When it was necessary to raise money for the prosecution of the war, and a loan was sought of two hundred millions of dollars, more than fourteen hundred millions were subscribed by the people of the United States, and for the first time in our history your government my government sells a three-per-cent. bond, a bond which sold at par, which is now worth a premium of five cents on every dollar, which profit has gone to the people. For it was a popular loan, and no citizen was able to receive more than five thousand dollars worth of bonds. Budgets & Budgeting
Why should I? No one would wish to hurt me. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
William Jennings Bryan is a much better orator than I am. I have to think. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Cuba ought to be free and independent, and the government should be turned over to the Cuban people. Government
Expositions are the timekeepers of progress.
I am a tariff man, standing on a tariff platform.
I have never been in doubt since I was old enough to think intelligently that I would someday be made president.
In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest. Time
Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not in conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war. War & Peace
Our differences are policies; our agreements, principles.
That's all a man can hope for during his lifetime - to set an example - and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history. History ;Hope
The free man cannot be long an ignorant man.
The mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation.
War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed. War & Peace