William Lyon Mackenzie


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Mackenzie, William Lyon

 

Born Feb. 13 (according to other data Mar. 12), 1795, in Dundee, Scotland; died Aug. 28, 1861, in Toronto. Canadian political leader and publicist. Leader of the liberation movement in Upper Canada during the period of British colonial domination. Born into a poor Scotch family.

Mackenzie emigrated to Canada in 1820. In 1824 he began to publish the newspaper Colonial Advocate, in which he sharply criticized the colonial regime and defended the interests of the Canadian bourgeoisie and the farmers, the two groups that were in the process of formation as distinct social classes. Soon Mackenzie came to be recognized as the leader of the democratic opposition (“reformists”) in Upper Canada, which opposed the policy of the British colonial authorities in the province and favored the promulgation of bourgeois-democratic reforms (including the introduction of a responsible government, civil liberties, independent courts, and abolition of the privileges of the Anglican Church).

From 1828 to 1836, Mackenzie was a member of the House of Assembly of Upper Canada, and in 1834 he was elected mayor of Toronto. Mackenzie was the organizer and one of the leaders of a Canadian federation (founded in 1834) that united the reformists of Upper Canada. He was one of the first to advocate an alliance with the reformers in Lower Canada. In December 1837, Mackenzie led an anti-British uprising in Upper Canada. Poorly prepared, the uprising was put down by British troops. In January 1838, Mackenzie emigrated to the USA. He returned to Canada in 1850, and from 1851 to 1858 he sat in the Canadian Parliament.

WORKS

The Selected Writings: 1824-1837. Toronto, 1960.

REFERENCES

Tishkov, V. A. “Politicheskie vzgliady i deiatel’nost’ U. L. Makenzi.” In the collection Iz istorii mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii i osvoboditel’nykh dvizhenii XIX-XX vekov. Moscow, 1970.
Kilbourn, W. The Firebrand. Toronto, 1956.

V. A. TISHKOV

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