Cartoonist:  William Allen Rogers
  Source:  Harper's Weekly
  Date:   September 22, 1900, p. 881

Click to see a large version of this cartoon...

Click to see a large version of this cartoon

Complete HarpWeek Explanation:
This cartoon claims that President William McKinley’s September 8 letter officially accepting the Republican nomination for a second term was on target in destroying imperialism as an issue that Democrats could use against him. McKinley fires the cannon from the White House grounds, hitting the imperialism bugaboo and scattering (left-right): Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan; Carl Schurz, the former senator and interior secretary and current vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League; William Lloyd Garrison Jr., also a vice president of the Anti-Imperialist League; and, Richard Olney, attorney general (1893-1895) and secretary of state (1895-1897) during President Grover Cleveland’s second term. The image links the commander-in-chief with the American victory in the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Although McKinley’s letter of acceptance criticized Bryan’s free-silver stance, extolled the return of economic prosperity to the nation, called for additional antitrust legislation, and discussed other issues, the majority of the document reviewed events and defended administration policy concerning the Philippines. The president rejected both immediate independence advocated by some reformers and Bryan’s idea of a protectorate. The president argued that a protectorate would leave the United States responsible for the security and well being of the islands while removing America’s authority to meet those obligations. McKinley concluded, “The American verdict will be for duty and against desertion, for the republic against both anarchy and imperialism.”













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