The great event of this administration was the war successfully waged by the United States against Spain in 1898; the freeing of Cuba from Spanish dominion; the acquisition by the United States, as a result of the war, of Porto Rico, the Philippine Islands, and Guam, and, by treaty, of Hawaii and the Samoan island of Tutuila; and the formation of a considerable party, known as Anti-Expansionists and Anti-Imperialists. The details of the war are given under Cuba; Manila Bay; Philippine Islands; Porto Rico; Santiago; Spanish-American War; and the various names of persons and places that became prominent in the war.
In the presidential campaign of 1900 there were eight tickets in the field: Republican, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt; Democratic, William J. Bryan and Adlai E. Stevenson; Prohibition, John G. Woolley and Henry B. Metcalf; Middle-of-the-Road or Anti-Fusion Peoples', Wharton Barker and Ignatius Donnelly; Social Democratic, Eugene V. Debs and Job Harriman; Social Labor, Joseph F. Malloney and Valentine Remmel; United Christian, J. F. R. Leonard and John G. Woolley; and Union Reform, Seth H. Ellis and Samuel T. Nicholas. The election gave the Republican candidates 7,208,224 popular and 292 electoral votes, and the Democratic candidates, 6,358,789 popular and 155 electoral votes. On Sept. 6, 1901, while attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N. Y., President McKinley was shot twice by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, and died from his injuries on the 14th. Immediately thereafter Vice-President Roosevelt took the oath of office as President. In February-March, 1902, Prince Henry of Prussia, brother of the Emperor of Germany and an admiral in the German navy, visited the United States. In 1904 the Republican ticket, led by President McKinley's Vice-President, Mr. Roosevelt, was triumphantly elected with a popular majority of 2,500,000.
The administration of President Roosevelt was marked by the passage of many important measures through Congress. The Federal Government, under the guidance of the President, was especially active against combinations in restraint of trade, discriminations by railroads and the payment by them of rebates to favored shippers. As the result of an investigation carried on by various Government commissions, suits were brought against the Northern Securities Co., a holding company for the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific railroads, and this combination was declared illegal and was dissolved by the Supreme Court in 1904. The beef trust was prosecuted and declared illegal in the following year. During the 59th Congress, many important measures were passed along the lines indicated above. These included a bill for the regulation of railways, a rigid meat inspection law, and a pure food bill. Other measures provided for the establishment of the Bureau of Immigration, the restriction of Japanese immigration, and the passage of the Aldrich-Vreeland Act, making provision for a monetary commission.
The great fire and earthquake in San Francisco occurred in April, 1906. In the year previous, through the good offices of President Roosevelt, the meeting of the Russian and Japanese peace commissioners, at Portsmouth, N. H., resulted in a treaty of peace between the two countries, on September 5, 1905. The United States was obliged to intervene in Cuba owing to an insurrection in that country, and a provisional government was established on September 29, 1906. A customs treaty with Santo Domingo was ratified in 1907. Threatened friction with Japan over conditions in the Orient, especially in China, was averted by an agreement between Elihu Root, Secretary of State, and the Japanese Minister. This agreement provided for the continuance of the “open door” in China, and pledged both governments to consultation before these policies should be changed.
The President's aggressive attitude in favor of reform measures brought about sharp opposition, especially in the Senate, on the part of the leaders of the conservative element. This resulted in the ignoring by Congress of many of the policies advocated by the President.
President Roosevelt had plainly indicated that he favored William H. Taft, Secretary of War, as his successor. As a result of this support and the popular approval of Taft, he was easily nominated in the Republican National Convention. The Democrats nominated William J. Bryan for president and J. W. Kern of Indiana for vice-president. In the voting, Taft was elected by a popular vote of 7,690,006 to 6,409,106 for Bryan. Taft received 321 electoral votes, with 162 for Bryan.
The first action of Congress under the administration of President Taft, was the revision of the tariff. Long consideration resulted in the passage, on August 5, 1909, of the Payne-Aldrich Law, which was approved by the President in spite of strong opposition.
A notable change in the rules of the House of Representatives was brought