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publican among those who gathered in Philadelphia and in all but one matter his will was dominant. Immediately after the Convention he disclosed to a friend in a confidential mo– ment that he would not exchange the personal power which he was able to exert with that of the President. Throughout the fall of 1899 and the winter of 1900 he labored hard and successfully to establish the dominant issue for the coming election. He wanted above all the campaign of 1900 to be the continuation and consummation of the campaign of 1896. The fundamental fact was that the Republicans had been placed in power in order to accomplish certain results; and they had been as good as their promises. They had established the gold standard; they had restored the confidence of business men in the American financial system; they had disproved the claims of Mr. Bryan that the single gold standard meant economic privation and disaster; and they had bestowed comparative prosperity on the business man and on the wage-earner. Although the party in power, they could afford to take high ground. They were not on the defensive. If any administration and party ever had a right to claim a continuation of public confidence, because of a sequence between promise and performance, the first McKinley administration and the President's party were most assuredly in that position. Mr. Hanna in his speech before the Ohio State Convention on April 24, 1900, attempted to strike the proper keynote of the campaign. “I say the spirit of the hour should be one of absolute fearlessness on the part of the Republicans. We are conscious, as your chairman has said, of having fulfilled every promise made. We took this country into our hands and under our care after four years of unprecedented vicissitudes in business. At our Convention in St. Louis we proclaimed the doctrine and policy of the Republican party, upon which for twenty years had been built the material interests of the country. We promised such reforms and such economic legislation as would produce a return of these benefits. We even said that we would go beyond the ideas of our fathers in the benefits which would flow from the perpetuation of our policy. We now stand on what we have achieved and accomplished in respect to the material interests of this country. Looking in the face of such
results, I repeat your chairman's words: “Do we want a
want too much emphasis placed upon it. Both the Cuban War and its consequences had been forced upon him. He had finally insisted upon the cession of the Philippines by Spain, not because he welcomed the assumption by the national government of such responsibilities, but because the alternative looked still more dubious. By a refusal he would have alienated that part of the country which contributed most of his personal following, while at the same time he would not have avoided a certain responsibility towards the Philippines, created by the military situation in those islands. He would have liked to keep the country and his administration free from any such entanglements, both because they squared ill with his inherited phrases and because they prevented the country from concentrating its attention on the great drama of prosperity, of which he was the advance agent. Consequently, while ably and vigorously defended a policy of expansion, it was more or less a source of embarrassment to him. There was a real danger that public opinion might be shocked and alienated by the necessarily bloody suppression of Philippine insurrection. In all these respects Mr. Hanna agreed with his chief. He was enough of a realist in politics not to have any scruples against a policy of extraterritorial expansion, but was not interested in it, and he regarded its intrusion into the campaign as a mere befogging of the essential issue. The “trust” issue, on the other hand, Mr. Hanna welcomed rather than feared. More than any other American political leader of equal prominence, he was not afraid to identify himself openly with the cause of corporate aggrandizement. His public attitude towards the matter was modified somewhat by Mr. McKinley's consistent desire to keep in the middle of the road. He always declared his opposition to the “trusts,” in so far as they endeavored to create a monoply and absolutely control prices. But his sympathies were on the side of organized capital. He knew that the enormous impulse, which the process of railroad and industrial consolidation had received since 1898, had been caused by a desire to escape from certain critical evils resulting from unrestrained competition; and he knew that the organization of larger corporate units resulted in many real and desirable economies in the transaction of business. Any forcible
interference with the process might have injurious effects on industrial and economical activity. The revival of prosperity was associated with the reorganization of business methods, and Mr. Hanna believed so devoutly in the former that he was not disposed to question the latter. In holding this belief Mr. Hanna was fairly representative of the dominant trend of public opinion. There were, indeed, plain indications that certain elements in public opinion, not ordinarily inclined to sectionalism or radicalism, were becoming uneasy at the spectacle of unchecked corporate aggrandizement. But their uneasiness had not become lively and aggressive. Radical opposition to the large corporations was still confined chiefly to Western Democrats and Populists, and their opposition alienated public opinion, because it was associated with so many economic and financial heresies, and because it was so plainly biassed by sectional interests and objects. In spite of certain misgivings the ordinary patriotic American was inclined to accept the process of consolidation as inevitable and desirable and to associate the enemies of the “trusts” with the enemies of prosperity. At that particular juncture the majority of American voters, whether farmers, business men or wageearners, were, after their many years of famine, prosperity-mad. The “trust” issue, consequently, did not cause very much alarm at the headquarters of the Republican national committee. Mr. Hanna knew that it would be flourished valiantly all over the country, but he felt that the criticism would be discounted, because of the source from which it came. The “trust” plank in the platform of 1900 was written by Mr. Hanna himself after consultation with the President. A draft of it exists in Mr. Hanna's own handwriting, and it is reproduced in facsimile, in order both to give an example of Mr. Hanna's handwriting and to call attention to the emendations in the draft. The word “honest” is added before “aggregations of capital,” possibly at the suggestion of the prudent President, and as originally written the plank declared such “aggregations” to be necessary only to the development of foreign trade. The change is of importance chiefly as indicating the way in which Mr. Hanna instinctively regarded the relation of the “trusts” to American business. In 1900 exports of manufactures were increasing by leaps and bounds, particularly in the highly organized industries. The large industrial unit was considered to be a more effective agent in the difficult work of creating foreign markets than the smaller one. This aspect of the matter always bulked large in his mind and was closely associated, as we shall see, with his determined advocacy of ship subsidies. It need only be added that the plank, as reproduced herewith, was accepted by the Committee on Resolutions of the Convention practically intact. The word “legitimacy” became “propriety,” and the first sentence was made coördinate with the second instead of dependent upon it.