Macdonald Returns as Canada’s Prime Minister (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: A second administration by the Conservative prime minister aims to protect Canadian enterprises from foreign competition and encourages western settlement.
Summary of Event
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of John Macdonald in early Canadian history. Along with his two most influential associates, George Étienne Cartier from Quebec and Charles Tupper from Nova Scotia, Ontarian John Macdonald played a central role in persuading the British government to approve the British North America Act, which ended Canada’s colonial status and united the Canadian provinces under a single federal system. Alexander Mackenzie, Tupper, and Cartier created a political system that protected religious freedom, established English and French as the official languages of the new Dominion of Canada, and created a balance between the power of the federal and provincial governments.
On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act of 1867 took effect, and John Macdonald became Canada’s first prime minister. Macdonald was an English-speaking Protestant from Ontario, and Cartier was a French-speaking Catholic from Quebec. They both understood that the unity of their new country required that representatives from Canada’s major linguistic groups (English and French) and religions (Catholic and Protestant) be included at all levels of government. Although Macdonald was the prime minister, most...
(The entire section is 1388 words.)
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