Makers of Canada Baldwin, LaFontaine, Hincks
By Stephen Leacock (1909)
IN the present volume
the narrative of personal biography is subordinated to the reeord of
political achievement. The name of Robert Baldwin and that of his
distinguished colleague Louis La-Fontaine will always be associated With
the words responsible government. Baldwin was frequently derided by his
contemporaries as a "man of one idea." Time has shown that this "one
idea"' of Robert Baldwin,--the conception of responsible government.—has
proved the corner-stone of the British Imperial system. It is fitting,
therefore, that this brief account of the political career of Robert
Baldwin and his associates should centre round the evolution of
responsible government in the province of Canada. In other works of the
present series the periods of Canadian history preceding and following
the LaFontaine-Baldwin administrations have already been treated. The
biography of Papineau, already published, and the forthcoming biography
of William Lyon Mackenzie offer an ample account of the stirring events
of the rebellion. Sir John Bourinot in his Lord Elgin and Mr. Lewis in
his George Brown have told the story of the administration of Hineks and
Morin alter the retirement of their former chiefs. The present narrative
is therefore especially concerned with the two LaFontaine-Baldwin
ministries and with the great political controversy during the
administration of Sir Charles Metcalfe.
The author desires to
express his sincere thanks for the very valuable assistance and useful
suggestions received from Dr. James Bain, Librarian of the Toronto
Public Library, and from Mr. Charles Gould, Librarian of McGill
University. The author owes much also to the kindness of Dr. A. G.
Doughty, C.M.G., Archivist of the Dominion Government.
McGill University, July 31st, 1906.
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