Problems facing President McKiney during his term in office

Essay by ptnovak7High School, 12th grade February 2006

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When McKinley became president in 1897 he faced a growing crisis in Cuba. Questions of war and empire, however, not domestic problems dominated McKinley's term in office. In Cuba a bloody rebellion against Spain, which began in 1895, outraged many Americans who clamored for war with Spain. Using diplomacy and the threat of military intervention, McKinley secured some concessions from Spain, but when it would not give up Cuba, he led the nation into war in 1898. He personally directed the war effort and made the crucial decisions that brought the United States a colonial empire in the Caribbean and the Pacific.

His administration suppressed armed Philippine resistance to American rule with tactics similar to those Spain had employed in Cuba, established an American protectorate in Cuba, negotiated the Hay-Pauncefote treaties (1900, 1901), which allowed the United States to construct unilaterally an isthmian canal, and circulated the Open Door notes, which opposed the dismemberment of China.

The result of McKinley's suspicions led to the Platt Amendment, which stated that Cuba could not ally itself with any other foreign power. The U.S. also had the right to receive a naval base in Cuba, named Guantanamo Bay. To build support for his foreign policy, McKinley made effective use of his powers of his office. He toured the country to promote the importance of expansion. The Spanish-American war ended up strengthening the power of the power because McKinley used his power of commander in chief of the armed forces to the fullest. Many felt that McKinley was going overboard on his issues dealing with foreign policy so much that an Anti-Imperialism league was formed to unite the opposition over McKinley's foreign policy. McKinley, who had done much to enhance the power and prestige of the presidency, was reelected in...