Sir John A Macdonald

Prime Minister of Canada from 1867 to 1873 and 1878 to 1891 who set up the Mounties. He was born in Glasgow on 11th Jan 1815 and moved to Canada when he was 5. He trained as a lawyer and stood for the assembly of the Province of Canada as a Conservative. He was called to the bar in 1836 and was elected to the assembly in 1844. From 1854 he led a coalition of the Liberal-Conservative party. He worked hard to strengthen the ties between Britain and Canada. He was instrumental in forming the Dominion of Canada in 1867 and became it's first leader. He was created Knight Commander of the Bath for his services to the British Empire.

Under his leadership the Dominion expanded to include Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. He raised the North West Mounted Police in 1873 as a temporary measure but they proved their worth and were retained. In that year, Macdonald's government were accused of taking bribes in the competition to award the contract for building the Pacific Railway contract. He was forced to resign, but in the following years the Liberal government encouraged free trade which was unpopular. Macdonald returned to power with a policy of trade protectionism. He died 'a British subject' in Ottawa on the 6th June 1891.

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