William McKinley

Political Offices

Why did McKinley lose the 1890 election?

He lost largely because of an unpopular tariff bill that he championed as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The so-called McKinley Tariff imposed incredibly high taxes on foreign-produced goods, but the impact of the law drove up consumer prices. As a result, the measure was not very popular. Many Republicans in Congress—including McKinley—lost their seats as a result of the economic issues.


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