Sir John A. Macdonald.

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It is said that "history is the record of an encounter between character and circumstance." In the context of history, Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada's first Prime Minister, was notably successful at reacting to circumstance through his own resilience and unique style. With his intelligence, wit, and charisma, Sir John A. MacDonald created great political success out of some very severe circumstances. Some of the most commonly known successes of Sir John's political career included the Great Coalition, the British North America Act, the Manitoba Act, the creation of the North West Mounted Police, the National Policy, and the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Perhaps MacDonald's greatest asset was that he was a visionary. To him, Canada must stretch from coast to coast, a view that in those times would be greeted with considerable skepticism. Yet MacDonald delivered. His love of country and determination made the unlikely happen, as he helped give birth to a nation.

Born on January 11, 1815 in Glasgow, Scotland, John A. MacDonald's family emigrated to Kingston, Upper Canada in 1820. At the time, Upper Canada was still in its slow recovery from the War of 1812, and the public was quite displeased with the 'Family Compact' influence. Growing up at this vital time, and without being blessed by birth or fortune, John A. MacDonald learned much about the public and their concerns. At the age of fifteen MacDonald began to study law, and by 1836 at age nineteen, MacDonald had opened his own law office. In 1842, John A. MacDonald took a trip to Scotland and England, toured his homeland and met his future wife Isabella Clarke. A mere two years later at the age of twenty - nine, he entered politics.

In 1844, not yet in his thirties, MacDonald sought election to...