Essay on William Lyon Mackenzie King

Submitted By kristian123om
Words: 405
Pages: 2

William Lyon Mackenzie King was born December 17, 1874 into a deeply Presbyterian household in Kitchener, Ontario. Son of an unsuccessful lawyer and an ambitious mother who was also daughter of the 1837 rebel, William Lyon Mackenzie, King was imbued with a strong sense of personal destiny as well as a profound fear of poverty and failure. His complex character was one of great intelligence, intuition, and ambition coupled with Victorian prudishness and insecurity. All his life he sought a balance between his natural sociability and a need for solitude. King remains the well-educated of Canadian prime ministers. He studied at the University of Toronto, Chicago, Harvard, and the London School of Economics and held a doctorate in economics. His education also included social work in some of the worst slums in North America. Based on his first-hand observations, he published the book, Industry and Humanity (1919), in which he called for the humanization of industry, an idea many years before its time. In 1919, at the age of 45 and with the almost unanimous support of Québec delegates, King became leader of a divided Liberal Party. In Ernest Lapointe, he found a powerful and trustworthy Québec lieutenant. Under his leadership, the Liberals narrowly beat Arthur Meighen's Tories in 1921. Over the next years, King concentrated on uniting the country, while trying to woo members of the western-based Progressive Party into the Liberal fold. At the same time, he strengthened Canadian autonomy within the British Commonwealth. King joined Laurier's government and soon became Deputy Minister of Labour. He authored ground breaking legislation in the area of competition and industrial disputes. When he was elected to Parliament in 1908, he immediately became