This is Part 4 of a multi-part series that examines McDonald’s legacy. The previous part can be found at the following link: Part 1, part 2, And part 3.
When a small number of sparsely populated British colonies gathered in the northwestern corner of the vast Americas in 1867, most world-savvy observers said the new Canadian Dominion had a chance to survive. I didn’t think.
First, the settlers who became Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia were different groups of people divided by language, race, history, religion, culture, geographic distance, and diverse commercial interests.
What political philosophers later called “social capital,” the trust and reciprocal reserves needed to unite society, was sadly lacking in His Majesty’s theme remaining in North America.
In 1867, according to the commonly understood meaning of the term, Canada was by no means a “nation state.” It was a patchwork of three countries: England, France and indigenous peoples. Inside and outside of themselves, the new Canadian province was suffering from ethnic and religious discord.
Even after the new union was established, many of Canada’s finest and most talented people chose to move on in search of better opportunities in the United States.
In Volume 2 on Sir John A. McDonald, Richard Gwin cautioned the New York Times’ post-coalition analysis and confidently declared: Thanks to peaceful absorption, Canada can gain a proper position in the Greater Republic of North America. “
In Britain, influential Oxford scholar Goldwin Smith predicted that the British North American colony would eventually unite with the United States.
Expert predictions against McDonald’s
Contrary to common sense at the time, Canadian history was to unfold in a less predictable direction.
By the time Canada celebrated the first 100 years of the Commonwealth in 1967, it was a stable, prosperous, sovereign parliamentary democracy that occupied most of the North American continent. It expanded from the original four states in the east to include a total of ten states and three territories, and now extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean.
Today, Canada covers approximately 9.98 million square kilometers, making it the second largest country in the world in terms of total area. However, most of the country’s unpredictable growth can result from luck or historic accidents.
Grib-Marxist scholars argue that extraordinary male and female efforts have no real impact on the course of history. They tell impressive students that it’s all about the dialectical process. They say that all of us are swept away by the laws of history, inevitably in favor of global socialist utopia, leading to the decline of the nation.
Records at McDonald’s office prove that this is not the case. He went against expert expectations. It was his government’s national strategy that was of great success in Canada’s first 100 years.
Dedication and achievement
John A. McDonald was a coalition architect who founded Dominion in Canada. The coalition was based on a series of compromises, and he was very skillful in gathering uncompromising enemies and completing the transactions needed to unite the British North American colonies.
McDonald’s was ahead of its time in developing public-private initiatives that would generate funding and technical capabilities to build one of the longest railroads in modern history.
In the decades following the coalition, he realized the decisive need for transportation infrastructure that would open up room for growth in the country. To this end, he ultimately devoted himself to building a line connecting the Canadian provinces from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
The Canadian Pacific Railway was built over a vast area of seemingly impassable terrain. Without CPR, Canada would not have survived to become today’s country. Western Canada is likely to have been swallowed by the rapidly expanding United States. In this sense, McDonald’s was not only responsible for Canada’s conception and birth, but also for our survival as a nation.
John A.’s “National Policy”, implemented in 1879, imposed bold tariffs on imported goods and protected early Canadian producers and manufacturers from American competition.
High tariffs aimed to broaden the foundations of the national economy and restore Canadian confidence in the development of their country. He sought to expand the union, settle the West, and develop a strategy that puts the interests of the Canadians first. His principles of national policy led the successor government until the mid-20th century.
Canadian electors and people of all classes appreciated McDonald’s relentless dedication to the new country. During his tenure in federal politics, he won six majority governments. McDonald’s final election in 1891 defended his national policy and successfully fought against the opposition’s commercial coalition and the call for “unlimited reciprocity” with the United States.
A leader worth remembering
McDonald’s biographer Gwin, along with other world-class icons such as Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone, considered him one of the most talented leaders of the century.
McDonald’s may not have been as heroic as George Washington and other leaders who played an important military role in the birth of their country. But in the first 100 years of Canadian history, most well-meaning men and women consider John A. to be “warts and everything,” a man worth remembering, and a country he deserves to celebrate. I tried to build it.
Today, most of Canada’s formation institutions, schools, universities, newsrooms and entertainment studios are managed by people with very different views on the history of the country and its value. This will be discussed in more detail in the final episode of the series on Sir John A. McDonald’s Heritage.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.