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The ascendancy of Ohio and the Midwest in national politics demonstrated that the United States was no longer a nation oriented to the Atlantic seaboard.It stretched, as Katharine Lee Bates's 1895 anthem, put it, "from sea to shining sea." In this period of booming growth, the nation experienced a dramatic presidential election.
Homesteading and the introduction of barbed wire in 1874 had brought an end to the open range.
The Mc Cormick reaper had made large-scale farming profitable and, in 1900, the U. was by far the world's largest agricultural producer.
It would be our purpose, said Mc Kinley, "to take them all and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them." They were "our little brown brothers," Governor General William Howard Taft later said, displaying something of the racial attitudes of the time.
This sense of the superiority of the white race and thus the inferiority of the colored races helps explain the rise of Jim Crow segregation laws within the United States during this period.
The first transcontinental rail link had been completed in 1869.
Three decades later, in 1900, the nation had 193,000 miles of track, with five railroad systems spanning the continent.After a two-decade effort to build a modern "steel navy," the United States was a great naval power.The United States became an imperialist power with the taking of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and the later annexation of Hawaii.The 1896 campaign was perhaps the most fiercely fought contest since Andrew Jackson's time.Republican Mc Kinley represented Eastern conservative mercantile and industrial interests; Democrat William Jennings Bryan stood for Western radical agrarian interests.Having led his cavalry troop of cowboys, the "Rough Riders," up San Juan Hill in a skirmish with the Spanish in Cuba, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt became a national hero and, as fate would have it, Mc Kinley's successor as president of the United States.A number of world's fairs were staged in the turn of the century period, and some of the American Memory collections offer glimpses of these events.He was promoted into the White House by his friend, Ohio party boss Mark Hanna; he was bullied into a war with Spain in Cuba by the sensationalist New York press and a jingoist Congress; and he was trapped into acquiring the Philippines by his Assistant Secretary of the Navy, young Theodore Roosevelt.This war was immensely popular with the American people.Edison's films offer a ringside seat at the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 in Buffalo, New York.Like the Spanish-American War, world's fairs both contributed to and resulted from increasing American interest in the globe.