Sir Wilfred Laurier

Life, career, rise & fall of 19th Cent.-20th Cent. Canadian Liberal politician known for mediating skills.

Canada: The Election of 1911
Sir Wilfred Laurier (1841-1919) served as the successor to Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. McDonald (Watkins 312). Historians of Canada’s multi-ethnic population have observed that a Catholic Prime Minister following in succession to a Protestant Prime Minister illustrates Canadians’ high flexibility in tolerating difference (Matthews 71). Addition-ally, Laurier was the first Quebecois to serve as Prime Minister holding this office from 1896 to 1911. During the 15 years which he held office the province of Quebec experienced phenomenal growth. In 1871 Quebec had been 77% rural. Within 40 years, by the end of Laurier’s administration, Quebec had become 50% urban (Mandel 274). Scrutiny of Laurier’s defeat in the election of…