W L Mackenzie King 1874-1923

W L Mackenzie King 1874-1923

William Lyon
R. MacGregor Dawson
Copyright Date: 1958
Pages: 522
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2ttsq3
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  • Book Info
    W L Mackenzie King 1874-1923
    Book Description:

    In this first volume, Mackenzie King?s life and political career are traced up to the firm establishment of his first administration as Prime Minister.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8318-1
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-xii)
    Robert MacGregor Dawson
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xiii-2)
  4. CHAPTER ONE EARLY LIFE
    (pp. 3-28)

    WILLIAM LYON MACKENZIE KING was born in Ontario, at Berlin, now known as Kitchener, on December 17, 1874. His four grandparents had been born in Scotland and had come to Canada within the period 1820–34, forming a part of the great surge of immigration which was to last until the middle of the century. All belonged to the same sturdy, industrious, Presbyterian stock, and in one of them, at least, the intellectual vigour and independence characteristic of the Scot had begun to assert themselves. The notable contribution made by Scotland to Canada is in no way disparaged by the...

  5. CHAPTER TWO UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
    (pp. 29-53)

    IN THE AUTUMN of 1891 Mackenzie King enrolled in the Faculty of Arts at University College in the University of Toronto. He was not yet seventeen. A year later he entered the honour course in political science, and was awarded a Blake scholarship in political science and history. For the next three years his studies were mainly in politics, economics, constitutional history, and law, in most of which he stood at or near the top of his class. He graduated in 1895 with first-class honours. In 1896 he received the degree of bachelor of laws at Toronto.

    King’s undergraduate years...

  6. CHAPTER THREE UNIVERSITIES OF CHICAGO AND HARVARD
    (pp. 54-93)

    ALTHOUGH the chief reason which took Mackenzie King to the University of Chicago in the autumn of 1896 was participation in settlement work, his first lodgings were with Dr. William Hill, an instructor in economics, who proved to be both a congenial and a helpful companion. After a brief hesitation, King elected to do the major part of his graduate work in sociology, which lay closer to his chosen field than economics, and he took as the subject for his thesis the International Typographical Union. His first term’s programme included courses on tariffs, money, general sociology, the family, and a...

  7. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  8. CHAPTER FOUR CIVIL SERVANT
    (pp. 94-131)

    MACKENZIE KING landed at New York on July 21, 1900, and went directly to Toronto to see his family and confer with William Mulock, the Postmaster General and his Minister. One of his first acts was to go to a barber and get rid of his moustache; the beard which he had also cultivated during his trip on the Continent had disappeared before he left England. Unhappily no photograph exists to record the result of this experiment which was never repeated. After a day and a half in Toronto, he left for Ottawa to take up his new duties.

    Some...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. CHAPTER FIVE DEPUTY MINISTER
    (pp. 132-170)

    MACKENZIE KING became a deputy minister only a short time after he entered the civil service, and his duties changed greatly as his experience increased. The later record fully confirmed the promise of his early days. The Department of Labour (still under the Postmaster General as Minister: Sir William Mulock until October, 1905; A. B., later Sir Allen, Aylesworth until June, 1906; and Rodolphe Lemieux to August, 1911) expanded rapidly under King’s guidance and its position in the nation’s economy became firmly established. Nor was King’s activity confined solely to departmental work. He showed a noticeable willingness to step beyond...

  11. CHAPTER SIX THE SHIFT TO POLITICS
    (pp. 171-199)

    MANIFOLD DUTIES as a civil servant by no means prevented Mackenzie King from participating in many outside activities, some of which helped to enhance his reputation still further. In 1903, for example, he was one of the founders of the Ottawa Canadian Club. This organization was national in scope and once a fortnight invited some prominent man to luncheon or dinner, following which he addressed the Club on a political or literary subject. King became the Club’s First Vice-President, and in the following year he was elected its President. “It is,” he reflected, “an important office, especially this year [1904],...

  12. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  13. CHAPTER SEVEN MINISTER OF LABOUR
    (pp. 200-221)

    EVENTS in the Department of Labour after Mackenzie King became Minister differed little from those when he was the Deputy—evidence, no doubt, of his dominant influence over its policies in the preceding years. There was, however, an increase in the Department’s general prestige, of which the change in its legal status was the open acknowledgment. By placing the Department under its own special Minister the Government had recognized the importance of the work the Department was doing and shown that it was conscious of owing a special obligation to the working man and his problems. “In the Department of...

  14. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  15. CHAPTER EIGHT CASUAL EMPLOYMENT
    (pp. 222-234)

    THE THREE YEARS following the defeat of the Laurier Government on September 21, 1911, saw Mackenzie King at loose ends: he had involuntarily joined the number of those who take work where it happens to be available. Even a position as an ordinary member of Parliament was denied him. He had committed himself to politics; he had enjoyed rapid and phenomenal success; and now he was to experience the uncertainties which always attend the life of an ex-Cabinet Minister. He also had to earn a living.

    The great difficulty, of course, was that he had few genuine interests elsewhere which...

  16. CHAPTER NINE THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION
    (pp. 235-255)

    MACKENZIE KING’S early work with the Rockefeller Foundation was devoted to a general survey of the questions which were likely to be involved in his research. It was tentative and not directly productive. He developed, for example, a passion for abstruse charts; some of the diagrams that were later published inIndustry and Humanitywere originally drafted at this time and form an interesting commentary on his approach to the problem. King also had a bibliography committed to some 10,000 cards of various colours, which after the first few months he does not appear to have used again. He was...

  17. CHAPTER TEN THE FIRST WORLD WAR AND ITS POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES
    (pp. 256-285)

    IN THE EARLY YEARS of the First World War Mackenzie King’s influence in Ottawa was naturally determined by his position in Canadian public life. No longer a member of the Government or of Parliament, and not even belonging to the party in power, he could not therefore affect the course of events directly. He was, it is true, the editor of theCanadian Liberal Monthlyfor a period, but his other work forced him to sever even this limited connection with his party. The only public office King held at this time was one on the national executive of the...

  18. CHAPTER ELEVEN PARTY LEADER
    (pp. 286-310)

    “THIS IS TO BE A YEAR of momentous decisions so far as my own life is concerned.” Such were the opening words of Mackenzie King’s diary for 1919, and they in no way exaggerated the nature of the problem with which he was confronted. His life up to this time had been in general a preparation for public and social service, but the form which that service was to take was still unpredictable. He had been in turn a student in economics, politics, and law, a tutor, an editor, a civil servant, a Minister of the Crown, an author, and...

  19. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  20. CHAPTER TWELVE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
    (pp. 311-347)

    MACKENZIE KING, though comparatively untried in politics, was in many ways particularly well fitted for the position of party leader. His political inheritance as a grandson of William Lyon Mackenzie and as Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s bright young man recommended him to many Canadians. He had some administrative and political experience, and he had a record of successful accomplishment in all the tasks to which he had set his hand. He was young, vigorous, and exceptionally industrious. Above all, he had proved to be unusually adept in bringing about harmonious relations between conflicting interests by conciliatory methods. While this talent had...

  21. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  22. CHAPTER THIRTEEN THE ELECTION OF 1921 AND CABINET FORMATION
    (pp. 348-376)

    THE GENERAL ELECTION was called for December 6, 1921. It was not entirely unexpected; for the Meighen Government was badly in need of some popular pronouncement which would determine its right to govern. The problems of peace and reconstruction, the crumbling of the coalition element in the Cabinet, the unpopularity of the Government itself, the portentous agricultural revolt, and the choice of a new Prime Minister were all reasons for seeking a fresh mandate. By-elections, moreover, had been generally unfavourable, and the Government had found it safer to allow five vacancies to remain unfilled. The parliamentary session of 1921 had...

  23. CHAPTER FOURTEEN FIRST ADMINISTRATION, 1921–1922
    (pp. 377-429)

    ALTHOUGH Mackenzie King had finally reached his goal as Prime Minister, his political future and that of his party were by no means assured. It is true that under his relatively brief leadership the Liberals had made a remarkable recovery: the schism of 1917 had been in large measure repaired and the results of the election had given clear confirmation of the restoration of party unity. But the victory, while impressive, was incomplete. Not only had the Liberals failed by a narrow margin to gain a majority of seats, they had been unable to establish an understanding with the farmers,...

  24. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  25. CHAPTER FIFTEEN FIRST ADMINISTRATION, 1923
    (pp. 430-480)

    MACKENZIE KING had seized with commendable speed the opportunity offered by the Chanak crisis and the Lausanne Conference to advance the cause of Canadian autonomy, and had thereby established two valuable precedents. Should this be the model for him to follow in any future extension of Canadian powers? Should he await the appearance of suitable issues, and so undermine the Imperialist position by innovation and precedent that it would become a legal anomaly impossible to defend? Or would a better policy be for him to accept the advice of the more impatient autonomists¹ and draft some simple but comprehensive formula,...

  26. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  27. NOTES
    (pp. 481-500)
  28. INDEX
    (pp. 501-521)
  29. Back Matter
    (pp. 522-522)