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William McKinley

When the time for a new election drew near, the silver men, including most of the Democratic party, proposed Bryan, while the Republicans, in favor of gold, nominated William McKinley. Both parties were greatly excited, there were huge processions everywhere, but McKinley was finally elected by the citizens in favor of sound money. Shortly after… Read More

Free versus Slave States

We have seen how Oregon became a part of our country. It was settled mostly by people opposed to slavery, so that it came in as free soil. But the Southerners had already asked that Texas be allowed to join the Union as slave soil. Many people wished thus to keep the balance even. Eight… Read More

Franklin Pierce

Fillmore, in the meantime, had been succeeded by Franklin Pierce, fourteenth President of the United States. Pierce had been a poor lad, but he managed to secure a good education. He then became a lawyer, and was so determined to succeed that when some people made fun of him, after a first failure, he firmly… Read More

Senators Fight Over Slavery

All through Pierce’s term of office, the quarrels between the slavery and antislavery parties continued. Charles Sumner, a senator from Massachusetts, once spoke so strongly against slavery that Preston Brooks, saying that he was insulting all Southerners, attacked him in the Senate chamber, and hit him such a cruel blow on the head that Sumner… Read More

Kansas Becomes A Free State

It was in 1861 that Kansas joined the Union as a free state, and the thirty–fourth star was added to our flag. In mentioning Old Glory, Senator Charles Sumner once spoke these words, which every American citizen should remember: “The stripes of alternate red and white proclaim the original union of thirteen states to maintain… Read More

The Mexican War

Texas had grown very tired of Mexico’s harsh rule. So Stephen Austin and Samuel Houston, two Americans who had received large grants of land in Texas, encouraged the people to revolt and form a republic of their own. They did so, and when the Mexicans tried to force them to obey, they won their freedom… Read More

Great Britain Signs Treaty With Colonies

The mother country—also known as Britannia, or Great Britain—wanted to keep the American colonies under her harsh rule, and when they revolted, she took up arms to force them back into a state of blind obedience. It was these thirteen revolted colonies which, banded together, decided to form the new and independent nation which in… Read More

More Slave States

Now, no one had a right to force the Southern states to set the slaves free, except—some people said—the President, in time of war. But the Northerners thought it was bad enough to have slaves in the states which already existed. You know that when Missouri was admitted as a slave state, it was decided… Read More

Treaties with Spain and Britain

Genet, a Frenchman, came to America to ask help against the British. He felt so sure it would be granted that, without waiting for permission from either President or Congress, he began buying vessels and fitting them out to attack the British navy. He had no right to do this, and Washington immediately bade him… Read More

John Adams

It was during Adams’s rule that the government officers left Philadelphia and went to settle in their new quarters at Washington. We are told that both Capitol and White House then stood in a sort of wilderness. Besides, there were so few visitors, and life was so simple, that the lights in the White House… Read More