The Facts of Reconstruction eBook

John R. Lynch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about The Facts of Reconstruction.

But, strange to say, the same issues that produced Democratic success and Republican defeat at that election brought about Republican success and Democratic defeat at the Presidential and Congressional elections in 1896.  The McKinley Tariff Bill of 1890 was so popular six years later, that the author of that measure was deemed the strongest and most available man to place at the head of the Republican ticket as the candidate of that party for President.  His election was a complete vindication of the wisdom of the measure of which he was the author and champion.  In 1890 his bill was so unpopular that it resulted in his own defeat for reelection to Congress.  But this did not cause him to lose faith in the wisdom and the ultimate popularity of the bill which he was proud to have bear his name.

“A little time,” said McKinley, “will prove the wisdom of the measure.”  In this he was not mistaken.  His defeat for reelection to Congress ultimately made him President of the United States; for the following year the Republicans of his State elected him Governor, which was a stepping-stone to the Presidency.  All that was needed was an opportunity for the merits of his bill to be thoroughly tested.  Shortly after its passage, but before it could be enforced or even explained, the people were led to believe that it was a harsh, cruel, and unjust measure, imposing heavy, unreasonable, and unnecessary taxes upon them, increasing the prices of the necessaries of life without a corresponding increase in the price of labor.  The people were in an ugly mood in anticipation of what was never fully realized.

It is true that the tariff was not the sole issue that resulted in such a sweeping Republican victory in the National elections of 1896.  The financial issue, which was prominent before the people at that time, was one of the contributory causes of that result.  Still it cannot be denied that McKinley’s connection with the Tariff Bill of 1890 was what gave him the necessary national prominence to make him the most available man to be placed at the head of his party ticket for the Presidency that year.


Interview between the author and president Cleveland and Secretary Gresham

When Mr. Cleveland was inaugurated in 1893, I was Auditor of the Treasury for the Navy Department.  Hon. J.G.  Carlisle, of Kentucky, had been made Secretary of the Treasury.  My resignation had been tendered, the acceptance of which I expected to see announced any day, but the change did not take place until August of that year.

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The Facts of Reconstruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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