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But there has also been a vast direct
immigration from abroad; and this element has come more largely, by far,
from the northern than from the central and southern races of Europe.
The Scandinavian peninsula and the countries about the Baltic and North
Seas have supplied the Northwest with a population that already numbers
millions. From Chicago to Montana there is now a population of full
Scandinavian origin, which, perhaps, may be regarded as about equal in
numbers to the population that remains in Sweden and Norway. In
Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as in
northern Iowa and in some parts of Nebraska, there are whole counties
where the population is almost entirely Scandinavian. Upon all this
portion of the country for centuries to come the Scandinavian
patronymics will be as firmly fixed as they have been upon the Scotch
and English coasts, where the Northmen intrenched themselves so
numerously and firmly about nine hundred or a thousand years ago. The
Scandinavians in the Northwest become Americans with a rapidity
unequaled by any other non-English-speaking element. Their political
ambition is as insatiate as that of the Irish, and they already secure
offices in numbers. Their devotion to the American school system, their
political aptitude and ambition, and their enthusiastic pride in
American citizenship are thoroughly hopeful traits, and it is generally
believed that they will contribute much of strength and sturdiness to
the splendid race of Northwestern Americans that is to be developed in
the Upper Mississippi and Missouri Valleys. The Northwestern Germans
evince a tendency to mass in towns, as in Milwaukee, and to preserve
intact their language and national traits.


SOCIETY AND GENERAL CULTURE.

The large towns of the Northwest are notable for the great numbers of
the brightest and most energetic of the young business and professional
men of the East that they contain. While they lack the leisure class and
the traditions of culture that belong to older communities, they may
justly claim a far higher percentage of college-bred men and of families
of cultivated tastes than belong to Eastern towns of like population.
The intense pressure of business and absorption of private pursuits are,
for the present, seeming obstacles to the progress of Western
communities in the highest things; but already the zeal for public
improvements and for social progress in all that pertains to true
culture is very great. Two decades hence no man will question the
quality of Northwestern civilization. If the East is losing something of
its distinctive Americanism through the influx of foreign elements and
the decay of its old-time farming communities, the growth of the
Northwest, largely upon the basis of New England blood and New England
ideas, will make full compensation.

Every nation of the world confronts its own racial or climatic or
industrial problems, and nowhere is there to be found an ideal state of
happiness or virtue or prosperity; but, all things considered, it may
well be doubted whether there exists any other extensive portion, either
of America or of the world, in which there is so little of pauperism, of
crime, of social inequality, of ignorance, and of chafing discontent, as
in the agricultural Northwest that lies between Chicago and the Rocky
Mountains. Schools and churches are almost everywhere flourishing in
this region, and the necessities of life are not beyond the reach of any
element or class. There is a pleasantness, a hospitality, and a
friendliness in the social life of the Western communities that is
certainly not surpassed.




CHAPTER XXIV.

ADMINISTRATION OF McKINLEY, 1897-1901.

William McKinley--Organization of "Greater New York"--Removal of General
Grant's Remains to Morningside Park--The Klondike Gold Excitement--Spain's
Misrule in Cuba--Preliminary Events of the Spanish-American War.


THE TWENTY-FIFTH PRESIDENT.

William McKinley was born at Niles, Trumbull County, Ohio, January 29,
1843, of Scotch ancestry, his father, David, being one of the pioneers
of the iron business in Eastern Ohio.

The parents were in moderate circumstances, and the son, having prepared
for college, was matriculated at Alleghany College, Meadville,
Pennsylvania, but his poor health soon obliged him to return to his
home. He became a schoolteacher at the salary of $25 per month, and, as
was the custom in many of the country districts, he "boarded round;"
that is, he made his home by turns with the different patrons of his
school. He used rigid economy, his ambition being to save enough money
to pay his way through college.

[Illustration: WILLIAM McKINLEY.

(1843-.) One term, 1897-1901.]

Destiny, however, had another career, awaiting him. The great Civil War
was impending, and when the news of the firing on Fort Sumter was
flashed through the land, his patriotic impulses were roused, and, like
thousands of others, he hurried to the defense of his country. He
enlisted in Company E, as a private. It was attached to the Twenty-third
Ohio regiment, of which W.S. Rosecrans was colonel and Rutherford B.
Hayes major. Of no other regiment can it be said that it furnished two
Presidents to the United States.

For more than a year Private McKinley carried a musket, and on the 15th
of April, 1862, was promoted to a sergeancy. Looking back to those
stirring days of his young manhood, President McKinley has said:

"I always recall them with pleasure. Those fourteen months that I served
in the ranks taught me a great deal. I was but a schoolboy when I went
into the army, and that first year was a formative period of my life,
during which I learned much of men and affairs. I have always been glad
that I entered the service as a private and served those months in that
capacity."

McKinley made a good soldier and saw plenty of fighting. Six weeks after
leaving Columbus, his regiment was in the battle of Carnifex Ferry,
Western Virginia, where the only victories of the early days of the war
were won. It was the hardest kind of work, hurrying back and forth
through the mountains, drenched by rains, and on short rations most of
the time. The boy did his work well and was soon ordered to Washington,
where he became one of the units in the splendid Army of the Potomac
under General McClellan.

At Antietam, the bloodiest battle of the war, McKinley's gallantry was
so conspicuous that he was promoted to a lieutenancy. He was sent to
West Virginia again, where he was fighting continually. As an evidence
of the kind of work he did, it may be said that one morning his regiment
breakfasted in Pennsylvania, ate dinner in Maryland, and took supper in
Virginia.

Winning promotion by his fine conduct, he became captain, July 25, 1864,
and was brevetted major, on the recommendation of General Sheridan, for
conspicuous bravery at Cedar Creek and Fisher's Hill. The title, "Major
McKinley," therefore, is the military one by which the President is
remembered.

With the coming of peace, the young man found himself a veteran of the
war at the age of twenty-two, and compelled to decide upon the means of
earning his living. He took up the study of law, and was graduated from
the Albany, N.Y., law school, and admitted to the bar in 1867. He began
practice in Canton, Ohio, and, by his ability and conscientious
devotion, soon achieved success. He early showed an interest in
politics, and was often called upon to make public addresses. He
identified himself with the Republican party, and was elected district
attorney in Stark County, which almost invariably went Democratic. In
1876, he was elected to Congress, against a normal Democratic majority,
for five successive terms, being defeated when he ran the sixth time
through the gerrymandering of his district by his political opponents.

[Illustration: GREATER NEW YORK.

On January 1, 1898, Greater New York was created by the union of New
York, Brooklyn, Long Island City, and Staten Island, into one
municipality. The city now covers nearly 318 square miles, contains over
three and one-half millions inhabitants, and, next to London, is the
largest city in the world.]

During his seven terms in Congress, Mr. McKinley was noted for his clear
grasp of national questions and his interest in tariff legislation. It
was in 1890 that he brought about the passage of the tariff measure
which is always associated with his name. In the same year he was
defeated, but, being nominated for governor, he was elected by 80,000
majority. As in the case of Mr. Cleveland, this triumph attracted
national attention, and his administration was so satisfactory that he
could have received the nomination for the presidency twice before he
accepted it.

The presidential administration of McKinley has proven one of the most
eventful in our history, for, as set forth in the following chapters, it
marked our entrance among the leading nations of the world, in the field
of territorial expansion beyond the limits of our own continent and
hemisphere. Before entering upon the history of this phase of our
national existence, attention must be given to important happenings of a
different nature. One of these was the organization of what is popularly
known as "Greater New York."

[Illustration: THE OBELISK IN CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK.]


"GREATER NEW YORK."

For a number of years, a prominent question among the inhabitants of the
metropolis and outlying cities was that of their union under one
government. The New York Legislature in 1890 appointed a committee to
inquire into and report upon the subject. After several years of
discussion, the Legislature provided for a referendum, the result of
which showed a large majority in favor of uniting the cities referred
to. A bill was carefully framed, passed both branches of the law-making
body by a strong vote in February, 1897, and was signed by the mayors of
Brooklyn and of Long Island City. Mayor Strong, of New York, however,
vetoed the bill, but the Legislature immediately repassed it, and it was
signed by Governor Black.

The expanded metropolis began its official existence January 1, 1898,
the government being vested in a mayor and a municipal assembly, which
consists of two branches elected by the people.



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