William McKinley – 25

William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States of America. He served as the President from 1897 to 1901.

During his Presidency, the Spanish-American War took place. Americans stood victorious in the war and this victory brought many new territories under American control. The American economy also grew quite strong during his Presidency.

When and where was he born?

William McKinley was born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio.

Early Life

William McKinley spent the early years of his life on many outdoor activities such as fishing and riding. He also attended school and gained formal education at an early age.

He later got admission at the Allegheny College but before he could graduate, the Panic of 1857 started. His family became quite poor during this economic depression, so McKinley couldn’t complete his graduation and went to work.

When the American Civil War broke out, McKinley joined the Union army. During the war, he initially served in the Ohio regiment.

He took part in the famous Battle of Antietam as well as the Battle of South Mountain. Although he was recruited as a private in the army, he was able to gain many promotions due to his performance and reached the rank of ‘Major’ by the time the war came to an end.

Once the war was over, McKinley studied law. He passed the bar exam and became a lawyer in 1867. A few years later, he turned to politics.

Life in Politics

McKinley’s political career began when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1877. He continued to serve in the House for the next 14 years. Then he was elected as the Governor of Ohio. He remained at that position for two terms and then decided to run for Presidency.

Life as President

William McKinley became President at a time when USA was becoming actively involved in the international affairs and was emerging as a world power.

During McKinley’s Presidency, the Spanish-American war broke out. After a few months of fighting, USA was able to defeat Spain and take control of the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba. This cemented USA’s position as a new world power.

Other important events during McKinley’s Presidency include the annexation of Hawaii by USA and the start of work on the famous Panama Canal.

During his term, the economy of USA also improved very significantly. Besides, USA had won a war while bringing many new lands under its control.

This made McKinley a popular President. Later when his Vice President died, he chose Teddy Roosevelt as the new Vice President. Since Teddy Roosevelt was also quite popular, the pair was able to win the next Presidential elections as well.


William McKinley served for only six months during his second term as the President. In September, 1901, he was at the Pan-American Exposition in New York. At the event, an anarchist shot him twice. McKinley died a few days later on September 14, 1901. He was succeeded by his Vice President, Teddy Roosevelt.

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