William McKinley and American Empire

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    Between 1897 and 1901 the administration of Republican President William McKinley transformed U.S. foreign policy traditions and set a course for empire through interconnected economic policies and an open aspiration to achieve greater U.S. influence in global affairs. The primary changes he undertook as president included the arrangement of inter-imperial agreements with world powers, a willingness to use military intervention as a political solution, the establishment of standing army, and the adoption of a “large policy” that extended American jurisdiction beyond the North American continent. Opposition to McKinley’s policies coalesced around the annexation of the Philippines and the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in China. Anti-imperialists challenged McKinley’s policies in many ways, but despite fierce debate, the president’s actions and advocacy for greater American power came to define U.S. policy-making for generations to come. McKinley’s administration merits close study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia of American History
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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