William McKinley was the 25th president. He was elected to two terms of office, and as we know, he was assassinated in his second term. In all, his presidency ran from 1896 to 1901. McKinley was a Republican.
During McKinley's fist term, the US warred with Spain. As a result of this 100 day war, Spanish colonial "properties", the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico became US "properties."
Reading through Mark Kurlansky's book 'Nonviolence', I came across this quote by McKinley. Here McKinley is trying to figure out what to make of this war and the newly annexed American territory.
"When next I realized that the Philippines had dropped into our laps I confess I did not know what to do with them. I sought counsel from all sides, Democrats as well as Republicans, but got little help. I thought first that we should take only Manila; then Luzon; then other islands, perhaps also. I walked the floor until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way - I don't know how, but it came ... that there was nothing for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could for them, as our fellow men for whom Christ also died."