Free Essay Claiming Sir Wilfrid Laurier Is the Best Prime Minister of All Times

Published: 2022-10-18
Free Essay Claiming Sir Wilfrid Laurier Is the Best Prime Minister of All Times
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Political science Personality
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1179 words
10 min read

Wilfrid Laurier was the seventh prime minister to rule Canada in the years from 1896 to 1911. Laurier became a prime minister of a Country lacking political direction since Sir John A. Macdonald death in 1891 (Skelton, et al. 145). Four prime ministers in John Abbot, John Sparrow Thompson, Mackenzie Bowell, and Charles Tupper had preceded Laurier without a leadership niche to propel Canada to better levels than those set up by Macdonald. Being a Canadian of French descent, when he took over the office he enhanced "compromise and balance as both a viable and an attractive political strategy" ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia"), a plan that built on Sir John A. Macdonald's visions. His personality and leadership skills usually revolved around national unity, economy, and Canada's place in the world. During the fifteen years, Laurier's visionary plan to tap on Canada's full potential racked up numerous achievements thus ensuring its growth in the 20th century and later, therefore considered the greatest prime minister to have ruled Canada.

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One of the major quests that underlined the achievements of Laurier as the best prime minister ever, was his quest for national unity. He used politics of compromise to find solutions for problems that existed between English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians then. Most Francophones were largely Protestants and nationalists, as opposed to the English-speaking Canadians who were predominantly Catholics and Imperialists ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia"). Each group had differing cultural views and there always existed cultural conflicts. Laurier always tried to balance the interests of the two groups, by showing them that the future wellness of Canada was dependent on the willingness of both working together. A good example of a common ground established by Laurier's establishment in the presence of different elements of the country is the Laurier-Greenway Compromise of 1896. The compromise was established to tackle a crisis for French Catholics in Manitoba schools where they could not receive education in their language and religion. The Crisis had emerged when in 1890, French had been abolished in schools and laws set up to do away with Catholic schools ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia"). By placing national unity as his first agenda, Laurier the strides established due to it had great positive effects to all.

In addition to national unity, Laurier endeavored to promote Canada as an independent state rather than one fully controlled by Britain. Canada was already a Dominion of the British Empire during Laurier's governance period but it had not been provided independence wholly. Canada's foreign relations were always dictated by the Britain government while Canada was expected to offer military support whenever called upon. Furthermore, Canada had to give Britain the greatest consideration in any economic trade. Laurier's devotion to champion the autonomy of Canada in international and economic matters was always on the show whenever he attended imperial meetings. An example being in 1897. 1902, 1907, and 1911 where he firmly opposed pressure from the empire to enforce Empire ties that are not beneficial to Canada ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia"). Laurier's policies in Championing Canada's autonomy prompted Britain to acknowledge them and lead to the creation of the British Commonwealth of autonomous states. Thus, by stalwartly fighting for Canada to become totally independent and ensuring that Canada's policies came first, he generated more perception to other Canadians of the importance of their own national identity.

Besides the above during Laurier's administration, Canada sustained growth both economically and in infrastructure development. Laurent's 15 years were characterized by very unprecedented prosperity all over the country. The prime minister had once stated that "the 20th Century will belong to Canada" ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia"). To his word, he came up with policies of progress that shaped the country's future. His first step to fulfill the promise was recruiting outstandingly performing members of his candidates. His national policy involved the creation of a universal education system and improving it, improvement of women right like provision of women right to vote, protection of public proprietary rights, and the improvement of the public programs like health, settlement, and transportation. Land and emigration policies enacted during Laurier's era remain one of his greatest legacies.

In the early 20th century, his government pursued new European and American settlers via the distribution of posters. An example being a five-stored arch built in 1902, in London during the Inauguration of Edward VII ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia"). This was in a view to fulfilling the government policy of western settlement. All this western settlement led to population nearly doubling wherein 1891, the population was 4,833,000 as compared to 7,207,000 in 1911. This population explosion led to a growth of Canada's territorial boundaries by the addition of two provinces namely Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905, to a total of nine ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia"). Dense population to the west necessitated the construction of a second transcontinental system. Wheat production in the prairies provinces increased leading to an increase in economic activities in nearby towns, roads, and rail network. Economic growth also expanded due to Klondike Gold rush between 1896 and 1899 leading to a sprung up of towns in that route ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia"). Laurier's administration played a central role in the growth of what is modern today Canada through the enactment of policies to support that development.

For ruling prime ministers to be considered the best, they should manage their parties and cabinets well. To a commendable level, Laurier was the best in both politics and administrative roles as required of him. His political career stretched over 50 years and he was in hand in the formation of the liberal party and became its leader from 1887 to 1919 (Skelton, et al. 145). In that time he always attempted to address community matters that affected Canada like religion and state and many more. In his government, only distinction performing Canadians were present in his cabinet. Laurier performed exemplary well in serving as a leader and enforcer of his policies, therefore, becoming the best prime minister was inevitable.

In conclusion, Laurier is a Canadian hero who oversaw the development of Canada to the recent-time country through his impeccable service in the office of the prime minister. His time in office was a happy period marked with Canada's prosperity and national cooperation between Anglophones and Francophones. He was considered an intellectually gifted leader whose staunch stance on Canada's independence against the British Empire, revolutionized Canada and the whole world alike

Laurier's achievements are on a high scale such that he is considered a prominent figure in Canada. He is celebrated and commemorated in many ways that include, a Laurier statue set up on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, "Laurier Day" celebrated on his birthday (20th November), a university in Waterloo is named after him, Ontario is named after him and his face adorns the $5 bill ("Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia").

Works Cited

"Sir Wilfrid Laurier | The Canadian Encyclopedia." Home | The Canadian Encyclopedia, Accessed 12 Dec. 2018.

Skelton, Oscar D, et al. "The break-up of the administration." Life and Letters of Sir Wilfrid Laurier: Volume Ii, McClelland and Stewart Limited, 2014, pp. 142-170.

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