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Sir John Alexander MacDonald


1815 - 1891

First Prime Minister of Canada. Born in Glasgow, but emigrated for Canada with his parents in 1820. He was central to bringing about the confederation of Canada (1867) and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (completed 1885). His aim was to build a prosperous Canada, and he was firmly of the view that this could only happen by retaining strong links with Britain. He was knighted in 1867, and returned to power in 1878, remaining as Prime Minister until his death in Ottawa in 1891.


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