Studied law, worked as a lawyer Voted to the legislature in 1844 Played the political game well leading to heading a Confederation of several British Colonies. In 1844 Sir Charles Metcalfe, in his contest with the Reform party led by Baldwin and Lafontaine, appealed to the electors, and Macdonald was elected to the provincial assembly as Conservative member for Kingston. He returned to Ottawa in mid September a good deal more spry. Luckily for Macdonald the Liberal term of office coincided with a difficult recession in Canada. As a lawyer he was involved in several high-profile cases and quickly became prominent in Kingston, which elected him in 1844 to the legislature of the Province of Canada.
In December 1861 Macdonald himself assumed the responsibility of being the first minister, a post which he held until May 1862, during the sensitive opening year of the American Civil War, and again in 1865—67, at the time of the Fenian raids. Macdonell, and the collapse of the Commercial Bank, which had advanced Macdonald loans. He managed an expert defence of it in the house on 17 January, but after the session prorogued, on 21 March, he went to ground, pulse at 49, with liver and abdominal pain. He used camaraderie and good humour to make allies and placate opponents. Over the period of Isabella's illness, Macdonald had become an alcoholic.
In a general election held the following month, Macdonald's Conservatives were victorious and he was asked to become the country's first Prime Minister. Macdonald played a central role in making the railway a reality. Macdonald, Sir John Sir John Macdonald. It was also no doubt for other things Macdonald did not mention: treating the voters could comprehend more than just carriages and whisky. Macdonald and his son, Hugh John Macdonald briefly sat together in the Canadian House of Commons prior to the elder Macdonald's death. Macdonald, 2 vols 1952—55 ; Patrice Dutil and Roger Hall, eds.
He remained in opposition from 1848 until 1854, holding together under difficult circumstances an unpopular party with which he was not entirely in sympathy. His first wife, his cousin Isabella Clark, was an invalid during most of their married life and died in 1857. Return to Power Fortunately for Macdonald his defeat in 1874 coincided with the onset of a business depression in Canada, which gave the Liberal administration of a reputation for being ineffectual. In 1864 Macdonald and McMicken were also forced to become concerned about the Fenian Brotherhood, an Irish-American paramilitary organization dedicated to the liberation of Ireland. Macdonald attended the Midland District Grammar School, as well as a private school in Kingston, where he was educated in rhetoric, Latin, Greek, grammar, arithmetic and geography. Death: June 6, 1891 in Ottawa, Ontario.
Campbell, Sir Francis , and others. Vigorously defended by Macdonald against a barrage of opposition attacks, the franchise bill passed in July, near the end of the session. In March 1843, now well known as a lawyer, businessman, and public-spirited citizen, he was easily elected to the Kingston Town Council as an alderman. By 1864 the political and sectional forces in the province were deadlocked, and Macdonald reluctantly accepted Brown's proposal for a new coalition of Conservatives, , and Bleus, who would work together for constitutional change. John Alexander Macdonald was the dominant creative mind which produced the and the union of provinces which became Canada.
Although Macdonald was a late convert to federalism he did become its main supporter. This action was lead by the fiery Métis leader Louis Riel. At this critical period a proposal was made for a coalition of parties in order to carry out a broad scheme of British-American confederation. However, Conservatives were already uneasy. Macdonald remained in Opposition until the election of 1854, after which he was involved in the creation of a new political alliance, the Liberal-Conservative Party. He also acted as an agent for British investors in Canadian real estate.
Federal involvement in both had been insisted upon by the Colonial Office; it is by no means certain that Macdonald wanted them. His own letters are a marvellous treasure: trenchant, whimsical, full of pith and substance, salt and savour — the way he was. The population of Ontario reacted immediately and about 12,000 volunteers headed west to capture the Métis rebels and serve them with frontier justice. Macdonald realized that the governing power in the joint Canada House would have to be a wide coalition of interests and beliefs. Unlike Americans we don't tend to obsess over every detail of our 'executive' leaders. The British North America Act had granted Canada the right to control its internal affairs, but foreign affairs were still handled by the British Authorities.
Macdonald and his wife led the ceremonies which official oversaw the birth of Canada in the sleepy lumber tow of Ottawa. He had been groomed to replace Sir George-Étienne Cartier, upon whom Macdonald had relied so much. In 1840 when Upper and Lower Canada set up a joint legislative assembly, Macdonald opposed this union and also spoke out against expanding the union to the Maritimes. He told McDougall in a letter not to cross the 49th parallel and not to be sworn in as lieutenant governor. Macdonald became Prime Minister again in 1878 when the Conservatives were returned to power. In many practical ways the administrative structure of the new dominion government was that of the Province of Canada shifted into a new gear.
Macdonald and his colleagues also encouraged and supported a large number of acts incorporating new businesses and expanding the scope of existing ones, including road and rail companies, insurance companies, banks, mining, oil, and lumber companies, and many others, in some of which Macdonald and his parliamentary associates had a personal interest. The party arrived on 8 July and took up residence in a large rambling house in the suburbs. Under these circumstances it is not to be wondered at that they should be dissatisfied, and should show their discontent. Some of these political problems stemmed from the fact that he, like many of his contemporaries, was at times a heavy drinker. Macdonald had been caught, as he admitted, between the devil and the deep blue sea, between his role as a British commissioner and as Canadian prime minister. The dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, he had a political career which spanned almost half a century.