The Presidential Election 1900

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Map Code: Ax00074

1900 saw Republican William McKinley renominated. He was up against Democrat William James Bryan in what was essentially a repeat of the 1896 election. Alongside McKinley, New York Governor and Spanish-American war hero Theodore Roosevelt was running for vice president. Many of the issues were the same as four years earlier, but a key focus was the territories acquired in the Spanish-American War of 1898, when the United States had gained sovereignty over the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico. The Democrats campaigned for the lands to be granted independence; the Republicans argued that the US had a duty to civilize them. During the run-up to the election, Bryan actively campaigned, delivering over 600 speeches. McKinley relied upon the success of his first term in office, the strength of the economy and Roosevelt’s excellent skills as an orator and debater. McKinley won with 51.6 per cent of the popular vote and 292 Electoral College votes.

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