Thursday, January 14, 2016

Morgan on Alexander Mackenzie. No, the prime minister Alexander Mackenzie

The other day I was noting the discomfort some American historians have about the unending flood of biographies of their Founding Fathers, to the exclusion of much else. By contrast, there has never been a scholarly biography of, fr'instance, the confederation politician and second prime minister of Canada Alexander Mackenzie. (Closest thing, published 1960)

West Coast teacher and researcher Ottawa civil servant John Morgan (I cannot keep my e-friends straight sometimes!) has sent me a link to a YouTube he has posted that may be the most substantial brief account of Mackenzie (an ancestor of his) I've ever seen. Morgan in his professional career often had to contend with the Auditor-General, an agency created by Mackenzie.

It is only a YouTube of speaker's notes, but with its wealth of documentation, it shows what an opportunity there could be for a scholar, not to praise, necessarily, but surely to ponder what the Mackenzie government suggests about how Canada might have developed if George Brown's expectation of a succession of progressive federal governments post-confederation had not run into John A Macdonald.  Supreme Court, secret ballot, electoral reforms, vigorous assertion of Canadian independence, hmmm.
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