William McKinley was the 25th president of the United States, serving from 1897 until his assassination in 1901. He was president during the Spanish–American War of 1898, raised protective tariffs to boost American industry, and rejected the expansionary monetary policy of free silver, keeping the nation on the gold standard.
A Republican, McKinley was the last president to have served in the American Civil War; he was the only one to begin his service as an enlisted man, and end as a brevet major. After the war, he settled in Canton, Ohio, where he practiced law and married Ida Saxton. In 1876, McKinley was elected to Congress, where he became the Republican Party's expert on the protective tariff, which he promised would bring prosperity. His 1890 McKinley Tariff was highly controversial and, together with a Democratic redistricting aimed at gerrymandering him out of office, led to his defeat in the Democratic landslide of 1890. He was elected governor of Ohio in 1891 and 1893, steering a moderate course between capital and labor interests. With the aid of his close adviser Mark Hanna, he secured the Republican nomination for president in 1896 amid a deep economic depression.