I-7956 | Hon. George Etienne Cartier, Montreal, QC, 1863

The most recent version of the Flash plugin must be installed
Get Flash Player
Creative Commons License
Hon. George Etienne Cartier, Montreal, QC, 1863
William Notman (1826-1891)
1863, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Wet collodion process
12 x 10 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
Select Image (Your image selection is empty)

Visitors' comments

Add a comment

Keys to History

George-Étienne Cartier was the critical figure in bringing French Canada into Confederation. In the 1850s, he directed the transformation of Lower Canada's landholding, legal, business and school systems. A corporation lawyer, landlord and friend of the powerful, he astutely argued that French Canada would have a prominent place in what he called Canada's new political nationality: "British and French Canadians alike could appreciate and understand their position relative to each other. They were placed like great families beside each other."

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

  • What

    Cartier's commitment to federalism, his alliance with Macdonald and his belief in a new Canadian nationality always made him suspect among French Canadian nationalists and advocates of provincial rights.

  • Where

    Although best known for his political career in Ottawa, Cartier remained a Montrealer with deep roots in the city and the Richelieu Valley.

  • When

    First elected to the Assembly in 1848, Cartier became known as a corporate lawyer for the Grand Trunk Railway and the Seminary of Montreal. He had little sympathy for workers or unions.

  • Who

    George-Étienne Cartier was a strong ally of Macdonald, sharing his conservatism, pragmatism and love of Britain. By the time of the Confederation period, Cartier had left his patriote origins far behind, opting instead for a new sense of Canadian nationality.