I-5064.0 | John A. Macdonald, politician, Montreal, QC, copied 1862

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John A. Macdonald, politician, Montreal, QC, copied 1862
Anonyme - Anonymous
1862, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Wet collodion process
12 x 10 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Canada's first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, played a critical role in achieving federation and in holding Canada together in its first difficult decades. He was responsible for chartering the Pacific Railway and for a National Policy that favoured immigration, protection for Canadian industry and railway construction. He also worked untiringly toward a political entente between the political leaders of French and English Canada.

Source : Confederation: The Creation of Canada [Web tour], by Brian J. Young, McGill University (see Links)

  • What

    Macdonald played the dominant role in bringing about the British North America Act and the union of the provinces into Canada. In addition to his role in Confederation, he played a prominent part in the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the establishment of Canadian tariffs.

  • Where

    Going from municipal politics in Kingston to a joint premiership in 1856, and serving as prime minister after Confederation in 1867-1873 and 1878-1891, Macdonald was known for his pragmatism and conservatism.

  • When

    Canadian politics was dominated by Macdonald for half a century dating from 1854, when he helped to form the Liberal-Conservative Party, to 1891, when he died in office.

  • Who

    John A. Macdonald is the central figure of Confederation. He argued for taking the British constitution as a model and believed strongly in a central government. He felt that sovereignty should remain in Britain with the Queen. Taken just a couple of years before Confederation, this Notman photo shows Macdonald at the height of his power.