A political leader of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; he was president from 1897 to 1901. McKinley, a Republican, led the United States during the Spanish-American War, although he at first opposed taking action against Spain. The United States annexed the Philippines in his presidency. McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist (see anarchism) shortly after his reelection.
Note: McKinley's presidency is often remembered as a time of rising American jingoism and imperialism.