Sir John Alexander Macdonald

Essay by fuzzymonkeyHigh School, 10th gradeA+, June 2004

download word file, 3 pages 1.0

Downloaded 17 times

Not many individuals can be compared to George Washington, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the first prime minister and leader of Canada. He is to Canada what Washington is to The United States.

Born in Glasgow Scotland during 1815, Macdonald was the offspring of his father who was the first in his family of farmers to make a living off a something besides the land on which he owned. His business venture failed however, and in 1820, Macdonald's father moved the family with four children to Kingston. Kingston at the time was in a place called Upper Canada.

Macdonald thrived in school. He graduated at age 15 and went to work as an apprentice for a local lawyer. Steadily His career advanced and he became a prominent lawyer in Kingston. He was willing to take on less glamorous cases other would not such as defending people accused of rape and Americans after they had invaded Canada.

Macdonald's first political role was as a school board representative. In 1840, Canada which was under British rule was divided in Ontario and Quebec. Macdonald opposed this merger, and felt that British rule was flawed. Macdonald political roles grew and in 1847 he held the title of receiver general. A key issue during this time was Canada's place next to the United States. Many Americans wanted to take control of Canada. Macdonald who was a conservative, lost some faith in his party when in 1849 after liberals gained power, conservative party members burned down the parliament building in Montreal.

Macdonald's goal after that incident was the unification of all the provinces of Canada. In 1864, a coalition was formed made up of leaders from each province. He studied what had happened in the...