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Lecture 02 - HISB41

Course Code
C Pennington

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The Laurier Boom, 1896-1911
-The years that Laurier was in power, the economic status of Canada was greater during
this period, in industries, west settlement and the national policy to take place and work.
-Relatively prosperous times
-No severe issues that threatened a divide of the country, and hence it was a peaceful time
-The 19th century may have belonged to the US, but the 20th will belong to Canada (Laurier)
-Laurier himself personified as what Canada would become, and sometimes called The
First Canadian
-He embodied the founding cultures in Canada, who was French-Canadian who saw highly
of the British empire and spoke fluently in both languages.
-Growth grew 3million during this period
British/French: 61/30 (1881) : 56/29 (1911)
European: 0.4m : 1.1m
Aboriginal: 108k : 105k
Negro: 21k : 17k
Asiatic: 4k : 43k
-Greatest other European growth was the Ukrainian which at first none in Canada to 75k
by 1911
-Blacks were not welcome to Canada at the time, and the explanation for these African and
Caribbean peoples was It is too cold here, and your complexion is not suitable here.
-Hard borders were tough against the Asiatic, but their growth was still substantial as they
jumped over these hurdles.
More Demographic Figures
Rural Population %: 75 : 54
Regional Distribution %
ONT: 44 :35
Quebec: 33 : 28
Maritimes: 20 : 13
Western: 4 : 24
Annual Immigration: 47k : 331k
1914: Over 400k?
Sir Wildred Laurier

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***Wilfred Laurier***
Lawyer and Journalist
-His trade
-1866 when he wrote the confederation would be the tomb of the French race in his paper
which was how he got publicity
-This statement will later be amended
Federal MP, 1874-1919
-1887, was Liberal leader
Liberal Leader, 1887-1919
PM, 1896-1911
-Won 4 elections
-Longest of all PM
-Only matched by Macdonald, but he is lesser as he died right after his election
The First Canadian
-Embodies both cultures of English and French
-Best speaker of his time in both languages
-Naturally he spoke flawless French and also flawless English
-He was born French-Canadian
-Sent to Scottish family by his parents to learn French, and thus spoke with a significant
Scottish English
-His bloodline can be traced back to New France
-Quite different figure than Macdonald, Laurier was more aristocratic versus easy going
and not as easy to relate to than Macdonald, but admired because of his language skills,
cordiality, manners, generosity, handsome compared to Macdonald and adored by the ladies
(doesnt matter since they cant vote)
-Always wore a three piece suit and a top hat
-There was a campaign where he was asked to wear overalls, but he ended up doing it but
backed down and wore his usual outfit as he felt it didnt match his composure
The Winning Liberal Formula
***Laurier on the campaign trail***
French-English Cooperation
-He was good at fostering this relationship
-Personified national unity as he embraced British culture, but was a proud French-

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-Positive relations between these two groups
Economic Growth
-Laurier did not understand economics very well
Provincial Rights
Laurier-Greenway compromise, 1897
-Respected provincial rights, and left them alone in most cases as opposed to Macdonald
who would always stick his nose in it and treated them like naughty children
-He allowed to be sovereign in their own jurisdiction
-Although federal would not be able to apply its power as much as it could with the freedom
of provincial politics
-The compromise, where students must pray for 30mins at the end of each day
-If there are more than 30 students enrolled then they can get a catholic teacher
-If 30 or more kids were French, they can learn French, and this applies to other languages
Loyalty to Britain
-Never missed an opportunity to praise the empire by Laurier
-Laurier always seems more British than the British themselves, and this allowed some
English citizens to accept him better because their doubt against him because of his French-
Canadian background
-He even pleaded that he be replaced when leader of his party because of his background,
but luckily that was proved wrong as people appeared to be tolerant enough to vote for him
-Huge event for French-Canadians as this was when French-Canadians took their roots into
confederation, and is comparable to Barack Obama being elected into the US (The Black
-Laurier dished out patronage
-He gave out government jobs and contracts to his allies and friends
-Corrupt system of politics
-Despite Lauriers angelic persona compared to Macdonald, but in fact he is just as corrupt
as Macdonald in terms of the old ways of politics
-Laurier despite these facts, did not ever seem to soil his reputation
-Emily Laverne, his associates wife and rumours thought that he was having an extra-
marital affair
-The son Joseph Laverne, looks just like Laurier
The Economic Boom, 1896-1911
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