Sir John Eh?

Canadian politician, first Prime Minister of Canada.

The Right Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald, leader of the Conservative Party of the Dominion of Canada, Prime Minister from 1867 to 1873 and again from 1878 to his death in 1891.

Born in Scotland in 1815, came to Kingston, Upper Canada in 1820. Became a lawyer in 1836. Elected as Kingston's member of the assembly of the Province of Canada (itself formed in 1840) in 1844. Macdonald later formed coalition government with Liberal Sir George Étienne Cartier in 1854, and became prime minister of the Province of Canada in 1857.

Sir John A. led the negotiations that founded the nation of Canada. He oversaw the creation of the Dominion of Canada from the former Province of Canada ("Canada East" and "Canada West" became the provinces of Quebec and Ontario) along with Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Later he oversaw the addition of the provinces of Manitoba* (1870), British Columbia (1871), and a somewhat hesitant Prince Edward Island (1873).

Sir John A. was later forced to resign, and his government was brought down, by the Pacific Scandal in 1873, but he returned to power in 1878 . His second run in office saw the North-West Rebellion put down and the execution of Louis Riel.

Macdonald led the country until he died penniless, while still in office, in 1891. His face adorns the Canadian $10 bill (the purple one).

* Formed from the Rupert's Land purchase.

Canadian Politician and first Prime Minister. Served from 1 July 1867 - 5 November 1873 and 17 October 1878 - 6 June 1891.

Canada's first Prime Minister was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Prior to politics he practiced Law in Kingston, Ontario. He played an integral role in the 1860s Confederation conferences.

He was a colourful figure and a great orator. Macdonald was also a habitual drunk, and stories of his exploits are legendary. His legacy is creation of Canada and the building a transcontinental railway, Canada's backbone. In 1873 his government was defeated by the Liberals under Alexander Mackenzie. Macdonald served as leader of the opposition until 1878, when he again became Prime Minister. Sadly, he died destitute and in poor health.

Next Prime Minister: Alexander Mackenzie (1873) and Sir John J. C. Abbott (1891)

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