Sir John A Macdonald

1459 Words 6 Pages
Over history, numerous figures have been claimed to be the real Architect of Canadian Confederation. This article will explore the rationale behind the selection of Sir John A Macdonald, the first Prime Minister, as this role. Macdonald’s national appeal, political skill and ability to bring together various conflicting interests elevate him above all other contenders to become the true architect of Canadian Confederation. The argument will consist of three major parts: first, John A Macdonald’s achievements will be explored at length; second, two broad requirements that the real architect must fulfil are analysed; third, three of the final four candidates will be eliminated to show how Macdonald is worthy of this title.
John Macdonald’s achievements
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However, to warrant the title of the “real Architect of Confederation”, one has to analyse the other contenders and examine their viability in the context of certain requirements. The first requirement is that the individual must be a directly involved in and must have significantly influenced the amalgamation of the four colonies in 1867. This requirement is in place because the process of Canadian Confederation is the culmination of numerous events, each of which could claim to be the decisive ingredient to Confederation: the discovery of the Americas, the French and Indian war, the War of 1812, the American Revolution, and so on. Confederation could not have occurred with each of these events; however, as the search is for a unique architect of Confederation, the instrumental actual event of Confederation must be pinned down, as opposed to the various (and numerous) processes that caused confederation in the first place. With this, the search can be narrowed by excluding those who did not directly participate in the specific act of Confederation in 1867. From the shortlist of various candidates presented to us after the first requirement, it is necessary to introduce a second requirement to the “true architect of confederation”. That requirement is that the candidate has to be recognized on a national level, as opposed to merely being a provincial figure. Although the leaders of the various provinces were successful in dictating certain specific terms of Confederation, none of these figures were truly national figures identifiable by a majority of Canadians, and none of these figures could be considered as the “leaders” who spearheaded the project. For example, Samuel Tilley was the premier of a government that brought New Brunswick into Confederation. His importance, however, is diminished in comparison to that of Macdonald, who was instrumental in acquiring funding to get Tilley

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