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All You Need to Know about William Lyon Mackenzie King

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by

Chris Huynh

on 28 September 2012

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Transcript of All You Need to Know about William Lyon Mackenzie King

Who was
William Lyon
Mackenzie King? How did he become Prime Minister? What makes William Lyon Mackenzie historically significant? William Lyon Mackenzie King was the longest serving prime minister in the history of Canada, having been in the office for a total of 21.5 years. His birth took place in Kitchener, Ontario (originally named Berlin) in 1874, and his father was a lawyer. Throughout his life, he has been a dedicated writer and very hard working politician. His involvement in social issues throughout Canada was tremendous, as was his aid in reforming the economy during its worst times. His death took place in Kingsmere, Ontario two years after he resigned from his long period of service. As King made his executive decisions during his time in
the office, his personality was easy to interpret and judge. Upon rising to power, he had no "great speech" or entrance that everybody remembers him by. He was mild mannered and did not capture the hearts of voters, but proved himself to be very worthy of their votes as his guidance and understanding of social economics lead Canada through The Great Depression. His judgement and decision making skills were flawless, as well as his motivation towards solving social issues and creating benefits among the workers. He firmly followed his motto "Help those who cannot help themselves." William Lyon Mackenzie King looked up to his grandfather, William Lyon Mackenzie who was a major political figure in the Upper Canada rebellion. As a matter of fact, it was shown in the diary that he has been writing for most of his life that he has been communicating with the spirits of his ancestors. His diary contained almost 30,000 pages, and illustrated his spiritual side in great detail. He never married during his life as he was fully dedicated to his writing and his career. Bibliography: His first post-graduate education was at the University of Toronto, where he studied law. However, after earning a degree, he never practiced this profession. Instead, he moved towards a doctorate in Political Economy at the University of Chicago and receives a scholarship to continue his studies in London, England. Aside from this, he had a dedication towards writing and published many works and articles, but the biggest project being his diary which he wrote in every day. As he studies in London, he becomes the editor of the Labour Gazette, and later becomes the Deputy Minister of Labour back in Canada in 1900. The Journey to Becoming Prime Minister 1900 1905 1910 1915 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the Deputy Minister of Labour in 1900, and is called upon to mediate numerous strikes. In 1907, William plays an essential role in drafting the Industrial Disputes Investigations Act, improving the financial situations for millions of Canadian Workers 1907 1908 In 1908, King became the MP for the riding in North Waterloo, which was his hometown. 1909 He became Canada's first Minister of Labour in 1909. 1911 The Liberal Party was defeated over the issue of reciprocity with the US, thus WLMK does not retain his seat in the North Waterloo riding. This occurred in 1911. 1918 He publishes the treatise "Industry and Humanity" in 1918 based on his experiences as Labour Minister and involvement with industrial relations. 1919 William Lyon Mackenzie King succeeds Wilfrid Laurier as the head of the Liberal Party in 1919. 1921 He leads the Liberal party back into power and becomes Canada's 10th prime minister in 1921. The Conservatives come back into power during the worst years of The Great Depression in 1930. William comes back in 1934 as the economy is falling apart, with the campaign slogan "It's King or Chaos", regaining his title of Prime Minister. 1934 William Lyon Mackenzie King's period in the office ended in 1948, and he retires from politics from then on. 1948 Many significant changes were made to the country regarding economic balance during the times that William Lyon Mackenzie King was in the office. During the World War, he managed to reduce the debt of the country as well as introduce the concept of old age pension. Upon being re-elected in 1935 after his "King or Chaos" campaign, he follows his promise made during the election and turns the economy around, first by passing the Reciprocal Trade Agreement between the US and Canada. This allowed a turning point on The Great Depression drastically increasing the trade between countries. William Lyon Mackenzie King had a benevolent impact on World War II, as he always makes the sensible decisions regarding matters involving the war. He declared war against Germany in 1939, shortly following up to assisting other Allied nations with food supplies, financial aid, war vehicles, and many canadian infantry. However, there had been controversy over the matter of drafting troops to war. King originally pledged for Canada to have very limited involvement in the war, but as the issue of conscription drew closer, he stated "conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription". In the end, few drafts and even fewer deaths occurred through this process. As an ally, King was known to be close friends with both Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, allowing him to effectively collaborate the nations' efforts during the war. William Lyon Mackenzie King has had many huge implications on society today, particularly around the systems of labour. Many things that the middle and lower classes receives benefits from such as the old age pension, improved labour conditions, and unemployment insurance have been created by this prime minister during his times in the office. His impact on Canada's reputation was also very significant, as it established Canada as a "middle power", heavily focused on conflict resolution and world order. Many ideals of William Lyon Mackenzie King have yet to be overwritten, proving his historical significance. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/2/4/h4-3256-e.html http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/king/index-e.html http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?id_nbr=7996
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