William McKinley was influenced by several people during his life. One of McKinley’s biggest influences was his mother. His mother had strict moral standards that she passed on to her son. She believed that wealth was a reward for virtue and poverty was a punishment for slackness and wickedness. She believed education was a major key to success. Because of these values instilled in him, he became a very hard worker and valued money as a result of hard work. This was evident as money was an important theme of his presidency. In addition, McKinley was influenced by a man named Rutherford B. Hayes. When McKinley was eighteen years old, he enlisted as a private in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. During the Civil War which began in 1861 his superior officer was Rutherford B. Hayes. McKinley learned from his counsel and his leadership. In addition, Rutherford was a lawyer, which William McKinley later became. Also, Rutherford encouraged McKinley’s political career. Mark Hanna was another influence. Hanna was a wealthy man that helped finance McKinley’s governor race. Hanna also supported many of McKinley’s presidential ideas.
Because of the importance of education instilled in McKinley by his mother, his education played a significant role in his later life. At the age of nine, McKinley moved with his mother to Poland, Ohio because there were more educational opportunities. The father stayed behind to manage his business. McKinley enrolled in Poland Seminary School. This was a private school where he studied for eight years. While there he excelled in all subjects and especially in public speaking. This would become critical in his later careers of law and the President of the United States. After his military career and in 1866 he attended law school in Albany, New York. One year later he returned to Ohio to practice law. Although his law career wasn’t a big success, he became real involved in civic organizations. Becoming so involved in these organizations made him one of the most popular people in Ohio. This would be very important to his political career. His education and desire led to several major accomplishments.
After returning to Ohio as a lawyer, McKinley practiced for several years. He was so well thought of as a