William McKinley (1843 – 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, serving from 1897, until his assassination in September 1901. He was the last President to have served in the Civil War. In his first inaugural address he said, “We want no wars of conquest. We must avoid the temptation of territorial aggression.” He then went on to lead the nation in the Spanish–American War of 1898, which resulted in the U.S. acquiring, by conquest, the colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Phillippines. Cuba was promised independence, but at that time remained under the control of the U.S. Army. During the war, McKinley also pursued the annexation of the Republic of Hawaii, which was already dominated by American interests, since the Doles had seized power from the royal government in 1893. McKinley persuaded congress to approve annexation in 1898, saying, “We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is Manifest Destiny.” He was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz, a second-generation Polish-American with anarchist leanings, in September 1901, and was succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt.