Macdonald, Sir John Alexander

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Macdonald, Sir John Alexander,

1815–91, Canadian statesman, first prime minister of the Dominion of Canada, b. Glasgow. His parents settled in 1820 in Kingston, Ont. Macdonald first practiced law. With his election (1844) as a Conservative to the legislative assembly, he entered upon his long political career. A forceful man and a vigorous fighter, he quickly rose to leadership in the government of Upper Canada (Ontario). He and Georges Étienne CartierCartier, Sir Georges Étienne
, 1814–73, Canadian statesman, b. Quebec prov. He was called to the bar of Lower Canada (Quebec) in 1835. He took part in the rebellion of 1837 inspired by Louis Joseph Papineau and was forced to flee to the United States, but he
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 of Lower Canada headed the Liberal-Conservatives (a coalition largely of Macdonald's creating), and he became prime minister in 1857. This government fell in 1858, but he continued as a cabinet minister until 1862. He briefly returned (1864) as prime minister before he was joined by George BrownBrown, George,
1818–80, Canadian statesman and journalist, b. Scotland. In 1837 he emigrated to the United States, but after five years in New York City, he settled in Toronto, Ont.
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 and others in the "great coalition" ministry (1864–67), which paved the way for the union of the British North American provinces. Macdonald was the most potent figure in bringing about confederation (1867) of the provinces as the Dominion of Canada. His policy as prime minister was dominated by the vigorous attempt to build Canada. Believing that the dominion's prosperity required strong bonds with England, he worked throughout his career to that end. The Northwest Territories were taken over from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869; to facilitate their development, Macdonald's government decided to construct the Canadian Pacific Railway. His personal popularity was not enough when the Pacific scandalPacific scandal,
1873, a major event in Canadian political history. Charges were made in Parliament that the Conservative administration of Sir John A. Macdonald had accepted campaign funds from Sir Hugh Allan in return for a promise to award Allan's syndicate the contract to
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, which involved the railroad, broke (1873), and the government resigned. Changing industrial conditions made Macdonald the advocate of a protectionist policy (known as the National Policy), and he was returned as prime minister in 1878 and served until his death. The transcontinental railroad was completed (1885), and other public works were accomplished. Macdonald was knighted in 1867.


See his correspondence, ed. by J. Pope (1921); biographies by his nephew, J. P. Macpherson (2 vol., 1891) and D. G. Creighton (1952 and 1956); study by D. Swainson (1971).

References in periodicals archive ?
Chairman John Macdonald gave the immortal memory and Ian McQueen added a further tribute.
John Macdonald was sentenced to four months after claiming he panicked and was full of remorse.
john macdonald, contracts management specialist, at 3627 kilauea avenue, honolulu,hawaii 96816, telephone: (808) 733-9338, fax: (808) 733-8375, or e-mail: john.
Lixin Shi and John MacDonald with the world's first wireless charger at a technology conference in San Francisco.
John Macdonald, managing "director, said the company was "delighted" with his interest.
We decided to work on a very scaled down version for the Olympic project to help manage costs," said John MacDonald of HDM20 Corp.
John Macdonald, 38, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a very young boy and causing or inciting him to engage in sexual activity.
John MacDonald, author of The Arctic Sky: Inuit Astronomy, Star Lore, and Legend, recounts Inuit legends of the Arctic Universe, and Eric Donovan, University of Calgary Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, discusses leading-edge auroral research.
The ceremony included an honour song by Rocky Morin, of the Enoch Cree Nation, and a blessing from veteran and Metis Elder John Macdonald.
Early Life: Born David John MacDonald on April 18, 1971, in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland, the youngest of a vicar's three children.
Clarke, of Ffordd Pennant in Mostyn, had admitted at an earlier magistrates' court that he assaulted John MacDonald on March 9, occasioning him actual bodily harm.
John MacDonald was hired by State Highway District 2 Credit Union in 1978.