Politics, Reform, and Expansion, 1890-1900

By Harold U. Faulkner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
The Drums of War

IN MARCH, 1897, William McKinley took office as President, and respectability breathed a sigh of relief. The republic was safe; the hosts of error had been put to rout. In his inaugural address McKinley dwelled on this good fortune, noting with pleasure signs that prosperity was returning to the land--presumably as a result of his recent victory. He made no reference to foreign affairs except to urge ratification of a recently signed treaty of arbitration with Great Britain and to say, "We want no wars of conquest; we must avoid the temptation of territorial aggression. War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed; peace is preferable to war in almost every contingency."1

McKinley had good reason to go out of his way in order to assure his followers, as he said to Carl Schurz, that there would be no "jingo nonsense" under his administration.2 There had been a good deal of jingo nonsense under the administration just leaving office. The foreign policy of the United States, in fact, had been growing progressively more truculent as the nation grew more populous and wealthy. Many people were arguing that the bigger and wealthier a nation became, the more important it was that it grow bigger and wealthier still. Notions of "manifest destiny," long dormant, were awakening in the public mind. By 1898 the population of the United States had grown to 76 million from only 31 million in 1860, and she did almost $2 billion worth of business every year with other countries. Surely such an im

____________________
1
John D. Richardson (ed.), Messages and Papers of the Presidents ( Washington, 1911), VIII, 6241; Congressional Record, 55th Cong., (1897), 1st sess., pp. 2-5.
2
Claude M. Fuess, Carl Schurz ( New York, 1932), p. 349.

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Politics, Reform, and Expansion, 1890-1900
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Editors' Introduction ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Chapter 1 - The Restless Decade 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Revolt of the Cities 23
  • Chapter 3 - The Decline of Agriculture 48
  • Chapter 4 - Progress and Poverty 72
  • Chapter 5 - Billion-Dollar Politics 94
  • Chapter 6 - The Election of 1892 119
  • Chapter 7 - Depression, Bonds, and Tariffs 141
  • Chapter 8 - 1894 163
  • Chapter 9 - The Bryan Campaign 187
  • Chapter 10 - The Drums of War 212
  • Chapter II - The War with Spain 235
  • Chapter 12 - End of a Decade 260
  • Bibliography 281
  • Index 305
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