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President McKinley, War and Empire
Taylor and Francis
217 pp.
ebook EPUB
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President McKinley and America's New Empire

This second volume of President McKinley, War and Empire assesses five theories that have dominated analysis of modern societies in the last century--liberalism, Marxism, mass society, pluralism, and elitism--in accounting for an aberrant event in American history: the Spanish-American War. President McKinley and the Coming of the War 1898, volume 1 of this definitive history, considered the origins of that war. This second volume is concerned with the war's outcome; the settlement in which the U.S. gained an "e;empire."e; The book begins by reviewing various expansionist episodes in U.S. history--some successes, some failures--and by analyzing the complexities, support, and opposition involved in expansionism. It then examines the work of expansionist writers, men said to have "e;driven"e; the 1898-99 movement, finding these claims to be questionable. Hamilton assesses McKinley's decision-making in regard to the settlement of the Spanish-American War, including the influences that might have moved him, as well as his own justifications. He then reviews the subsequent achievements: the size and character of the new American "e;empire;"e; trade flows the Philippine experience and U.S. efforts in China--supposedly the prime goal of the new imperialism. Many contemporary writers anticipated great possibilities in China, but that "e;fabled"e; market remained minuscule throughout the following century. Much American trade continued to be with Western Europe, while the biggest change in U.S. exports went largely unnoticed--Canada became the nation's number one trading partner. In much historical writing, McKinley is portrayed as little more than a "e;front man"e; for Mark Hanna, the adept businessman-politician who organized and led his presidential campaign, aided by generous financial contributions from business leaders across the nation. Hanna certainly was a leading figure in McKinley's career, but the assumption that his influence was controlling is not justified, as has been shown in recent research. McKinley was far more than a figurehead easily manipulated by representatives of "e;the interests."e;

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