National Geographic : 1965 May
and unlimited coinage of both silver and gold" at a ratio of 16 to 1, nominated 36-year-old William Jennings Bryan, the silver-tongued orator from Nebraska, who created feverish excitement wherever he spoke. Hanna used large contributions from eastern Republicans frightened by Bryan's views on silver. Mc Kinley-meeting delegations on his front porch in Canton, Ohio-defended the gold standard of the Republican platform. On election day, McKinley defeated Bryan and both Houses of Congress were Republican. Cuban Plight Stirs the Country When President McKinley took office, the depression had almost run its course and with it the extreme agitation over silver. Deferring any action on the money question, McKinley instead called Congress into special session to enact the Dingley Tariff, at that time the highest in history. It remained in force during 12 ensuing years of business expansion. 710 In the friendly atmosphere of the McKinley Administration toward industrial combina tions, "trusts"-as they were popularly called -c ame into existence at an unprecedented pace. In the six years beginning with 1898, no fewer than 236 "important and active Industrial Trusts" were incorporated, so that by 1904 there were listed 318 trusts with capitalization exceeding seven billion dollars. Newspapers caricatured McKinley as a little boy led around by "Nursie" Hanna, rep resentative of the trusts. Actually, McKinley was not that greatly dominated by Hanna; he firmly condemned the trusts as "dangerous conspiracies against the public good." Not prosperity, as anticipated, but foreign policy became the dominant concern of the McKinley Administration. Americans became increasingly indignant as the protracted, stale mated struggle between Spanish forces and the revolutionaries in Cuba brought disease and starvation to the Cuban people.