laurier the compromiser

Report
Laurier: The Great
Compromiser
Sir Wilfrid Laurier…The Facts
 Sir Wilfrid Laurier
 P.M. 1896-1911
 Canada’s first French Canadian Prime
Minister
 The “Great Compromiser”
How do you please your French
Canadian supporters while also
pleasing the English Canadian
majority?
The Status of English French Relations
Question: Why do we have a holiday
every May 24th weekend?
Answer: To celebrate Queen Victoria’s
birthday and Canada’s strong ties to the
British Empire.
Question: What province would choose
NOT to take part in this public holiday?
Answer: Quebec!
Ideas concerning Canada’s link to GB:
 Many E-C’s believed that Canada was destined to
become one of the most powerful nations in the
world, following in G.B.’s footsteps
 F-C’s disliked the strong ties to Britain. Their deep
patriotism was rooted in Quebec and the French
language.
WHAT IS THE PRIME MINISTER GOING TO DO TO PLEASE
EVERYONE?!
Laurier eventually lost the 1911 election due to a:
B – Boer War
A – Alaska Dispute
R – Reciprocity
N – Naval Issue
•
A Time of Imperialism: European rivals were in a race to win more colonies.
•
Laurier did not want to be dominated by either G.B. or the U.S.
Issue #1 The Boer War 1899
What could the British possibly want from South
Africa?
Issue #1 The Boer War 1899
Issue #1 The Boer War 1899
British are fighting the Dutch Afrikaners (Boers) in South
Africa – diamonds and gold
British turn to their empire, and ask Canada to support
them
Canada divided:
French Canadians – “We are not interested in
someone else’s war!”
English Canadians – “We should show our loyalty
to the Empire!”
The Decision…
Laurier compromises:
Sends only volunteers.
7300 Canadian volunteers enlisted to fight for G.B
army.
Significance:
1. English Canadians felt he hadn’t done enough
2. French Canadians said it was too much. Some
French politicians quit the Liberal party
Issue #2 The Alaska Boundary Dispute 1898-1903
Canada and the U.S. need to
establish proper boundaries after
the discovery of gold in the
Yukon.
Canada is a united front:
 “It is within our nation’s border”
The Decision..
Laurier’s decision:
The final say belonged to England, who sided
with the U.S. to keep them as a close ally.
Laurier does not continue to press the issue.
Significance:
1. Shows Canada that Britain is not committed to
her.
2. Shows Canada that she needs to grow up and
take care of her own political affairs.
Issue #3
Reciprocity – Free Trade with the U.S. 1911
 The U.S. wants to tax-free import Canadian raw materials –
lumber/wheat/minerals
 Canada divided:
 Canada’s West supports this – they make money by
exporting their raw materials to the U.S. tax-free, and save
money by importing U.S. made manufactured goods taxfree.
 Ontario businessmen (factory owners) want to keep taxes on
American made goods to keep their products competitive.
Ontario is an economic powerhouse of the country.
The Decision..
Laurier’s compromise:
calls an election – Key issue – Reciprocity (free
trade)
Significance:
1.Laurier loses the election – Reciprocity is
rejected
2.Canada’s western provinces feel left out. They
resent all the power being concentrated in
Ontario.
Issue #4 The Naval Crisis 1910
Dreadnought
Question: What two European superpowers are competing to
build the largest navy and control the seas?
Answer: England and German
Issue #4 The Naval Crisis 1910
Britain is in an arms race with Germany
(battleships –dreadnoughts) for control of the
seas.
Britain turns to her empire and asks Canada to
send $$$ for more ships
Canada divided:
 French Canadians – “If we commit to this, we
will be committed to every imperial conflict!”
English Canadians – “It is smart to stay
connected to the protection of the Empire!”
The Decision…
Laurier compromises: We won’t send money, but we
will establish Canada’s own navy that, in times of
crisis, could become part of the imperial navy.
Significance:
1. Shows Canada’s strong ties to Britain and Empire
2. Laurier loses the 1911 to Sir Robert Borden and his
Conservatives.
• Laurier’s loyalty to both Eng. and Fr. grew into a key issue in the 1911
election – he tried to appeal to both sides, but was “attacked from all
sides”
• “I am branded in Quebec as a
traitor to the French and in
Ontario, as a traitor to the
English….in Quebec I am attacked
as an imperialist, and in Ontario as
an anti-imperialist”
- Laurier
 In 1911, proBritish Canadians
voted
Conservative,
and Robert
Borden became
the new PM.
 He would lead
Canada through
WWI

similar documents