The obscure history of America’s 25th President and the William McKinley assassination in 1901, was indeed the beginning of the end of important aspect of our freedom: The Social Contract.
It was the shot that was hardly heard around the world. But the implications and ramifications of McKinley’s death and Teddy Roosevelt’s rise would set off a series of critical events, leading to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, LBJ’s war on poverty and eventually to Obama’s new Affordable Health Care Act, that would change how American’s freedoms were interpreted and regulated.
Followed by the inauguration of his Vice-President, Teddy Roosevelt, American history was quick to forget President McKinley while Teddy was literally etched in history with Mount Rushmore. Only four US Presidents have been assassinated while in office. McKinley shares that macabre distinction with Presidents Abraham Lincoln (1864), James Garfield (1881) and John F. Kennedy (1963).
Conspiracy & The McKinley Assassination
Conspiracy theorists have rightful claim to such, as President McKinley was killed by an anarchist.
While a very few American History students may know these facts, even fewer know the radical shift it had upon American policy and thus how our freedoms were to be forever interpreted. For with President Teddy Roosevelt, a self-proclaimed proponent of the “New Nationalist” variety of Progressivism. A master of populist rhetoric and public charm, Roosevelt quickly tapped into the widespread fervor for reform. His administration pursued some widely publicized antitrust cases against large companies like Northern Securities and the Swift Beef Trust, but for all his aggressive rhetoric, Roosevelt actually went after fewer monopolies than his successor, William Howard Taft.
The central issue that Teddy Roosevelt argued was government protection of human welfare and property rights, but he also argued that human welfare was more important than property rights. He insisted that only a powerful federal government could regulate the economy and guarantee social contract and that a President can only succeed in making his economic agenda successful if he makes the protection of human welfare his highest priority. Roosevelt believed that the concentration in industry was a natural part of the economy. He wanted executive agencies (not the courts) to regulate business. The federal government should be used to protect the laboring men, women and children from exploitation.In terms of policy, Roosevelt’s platform included a broad range of social and political reforms advocated by progressives.