MacDonald Essay

MacDonald Essay

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Although they represented differed political parties, Sir John A. MacDonald and Sir Wilfred Laurier pursued the same goals while in office. MacDonald recognized Canada's need for protective tariffs on exported goods, the need of settlement in the west, and the need for a railway to unify the nation. MacDonald immediately implemented protectionism and the establishment of a railway. On the other hand, Laurier took these goals and expanded on them. John A. MacDonald outlined the goals of Canada in the National Policy and these goals were accomplished in the period of the Laurier Boom.
The first goal of MacDonald's National Policy was the establishment of protective tariffs on goods. Although formerly a supporter of free trade, MacDonald decided that the current circumstances were favorable to protectionism (Stevenson, 194). His advocacy for protective tariffs had great impact on Canadians, so much that the nation voted MacDonald into office in 1878. For the next eighteen years after the establishment of the National Policy, the Liberals held to a rigid free trade philosophy and “directed its main attack upon the tariff system and the anti-protectionist case came to enjoy wide acceptance” (194). When MacDonald first implemented protectionism, Laurier, like many other liberals, was against the idea. However, once in power, Laurier was prompted by British preference to maintain the policy of high protection (194). However, the tariff issue was banished once the boom took flight as Canada's export markets were thriving. The country experienced great prosperity, rapid development as well as expansion, especially for the railways (194). Once the country's prosperity began to slow down, farmers of the west that were “the chief sufferer...


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...s National Policy and Wilfred Laurier accomplished it in his time in office, the period known as the Laurier Boom. This goes to show that the different political parties do not vary so much in their ideas, but more so in the ways of which they execute them. These two men exemplify their political parties; although both parties are equally motivated, when executing their practices, conservatives tend to be more laid back and behind the scenes and liberals are more diligent and in the forefront. For example, MacDonald came up with and outlined the policy, and Laurier took the policy into application. Although their approaches are different, the ideas and actions of these two men together are the reason for the development of Canada as a nation. Therefore, with this in mind, both the Laurier government and the MacDonald government created the nation of Canada.




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