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James Russell Lowell once said, “A great man is made up of qualities that meet or make great occasions” (Brainy Quote 2018). Even after so many years, many people still believe that William Lyon Mackenzie King is the greatest Canadian to ever walk the earth. He is a great man who did great things. Due to his great accomplishments, it made a huge impact on the lives of every Canadian today. His achievements include being recognized as a dominant political leader of Canada from between the 1920s to around the 1940s (WordPress 2013), leading through half of the Great Depression, and his efforts towards creating National Unity during the Second World War. William Lyon Mackenzie King is by far the greatest Canadian and will forever be entitled to this, with a reputation as one who is so legendary, that he is unbeatable.In Canada’s 150 years, no Prime Minister has approached the heights or the success of this cautious and confident political figure. Firstly, William Lyon Mackenzie King is known as one of our greatest Prime Ministers of Canada. He is Canada’s longest serving Prime Minister (Canadian Encyclopedia 2015), ministering for a total of 22 years through half of the depression and all of the Second World War (Government of Canada 2016). Mackenzie King is still currently ranked first place for being the longest serving Prime Minister, with Sir Wilfred Laurier and John A. Macdonald following as second and third place. Every Prime Minister now looks up to William Lyon Mackenzie King, trying to make a big impact on Canada as he did. As many people would say, “Just like every other Prime Minister, he had to possess ambition, stamina, and determination to become Prime Minister” (Government of Canada 2016). However, King, in spite of appearances, his accomplishments in that role required political acuity, decisiveness, and faultless judgment. People remember and recognize him for his passive compromise, conciliation, and for being easy going. Lastly, as the tenth Prime Minister of Canada, King is quite successful and had his own ways of making things work. King states, “It is what we prevent, rather than what we do that counts most in Government” (Mackenzie King 1936). This saying is perhaps King’s key to governing Canada effectively and this statement pretty much sums up his biggest secrets of being such a great and well-known Prime Minister. Also, Mackenzie King is always behind all of the public opinion; which this is another factor in his political success (Taylor and Francis 2008). As a Liberal with about 22 years and 154 days in office (1921–1926, 1926–1930 and 1935–1948), King is trained in law and social work. As a boy, his motto was, “Help those that cannot help themselves” (Mackenzie King). This is an example of how he is keenly interested in the human condition and played a major role in laying the foundations of the Canadian welfare state. By the time he has left the office, Canada had achieved greater independence from Britain and a stronger international voice, and implemented policies such as unemployment insurance in response to industrialization, economic distress, and changing social realities (Canadian Encyclopedia 2015). As an amazing politician, Mackenzie King has done much for the citizens of our country, shaping Canadian history with the outstanding consecutive and stable status of being the greatest Canadian.The Great Depression during the 1930’s is one of Canada’s darkest times. King led the nation through half of the Great Depression. Firstly, Mackenzie King’s government was in power during the beginning of the Great Depression, but he could not respond quickly enough to the upcoming economic crisis. He ignored the Stock Market Crash of 1929. King went on believing that the Depression will not affect Canada, and he refused to provide federal funding to provinces struggling with unemployment (Canadian Encyclopedia 2015). People comment, “King felt that the crisis was a temporary moment or part of a business cycle and that economy would soon recover without government’s help” (History Manilya 2013). This is when King started to get criticized for being a passive leader in a time where Canadians needed him most. When the stock market crashed, everyone was out of jobs, and many families had no food or money. This resulted in living on the streets. King still did not take any immediate action for he believed it should “run its own course” (Government of Canada 2016), however, things just got worse and did not end on its own like he expected it to. Lastly, King finally took action and made social policies to help out people with the Depression. An example of the policies is the Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relation set up. They suggested equalization payments to the less wealthy provinces (Canadian History 2006). He also made unemployment insurance, family, and welfare allowance. Generally, many people believe that due to his non-immediate action, it makes him a bad leader, but that is not true. As the depression got worse, King made various policies to help out his people, and support the country during the depression in every way, as best as possible.At the beginning of the Second World War, King believed that national unity was the most important, and this changed many lives of Canadians in the nation, making him the greatest Canadian to ever make such a big promise. Firstly, with his convoluted and ultra-cautious political management style, Mackenzie King expresses, “Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription” (Brainy Quote 1942). This is his trademark equivocation which he made a promise to Canadians that he would not impose conscription for overseas services partly due to the conscription crisis during the First World War where it divided the country along linguistic lines (Canadian Encyclopedia). Generally, King wanted to avoid the repeat of a similar conflict during this time around and is deeply conscious of the damage to national unity. Lastly, people recognize his great skills and secrets to becoming successful. “One of the secrets to his success as a leader was his ability to be familiar with the talents of his party members, and he filled his Cabinet with really capable men and delegate to them the power to carry out their tasks” (History 2013). His leadership of Canada shined most throughout the Second World War (1939–1945) when he mobilized Canadian money, supplies, and volunteers to support Britain while boosting the economy and maintaining home front morale (Wikipedia 2018). Overall, national unity was his most important goal, and he acknowledged that this did not mean forcing all Canadians to support one single vision, but accepting a huge number of differing, and sometimes conflicting views. With King’s ability to cooperate, it allowed him to successfully agree to the conscription issue in 1944 and to avoid divisiveness in 1917, making him the greatest and most reflective Canadian. In conclusion, Mackenzie King’s accomplishments are well-known throughout Canadian History, for he has made a big difference in our nation. He is recognized for his great leadership throughout the Second World War, and the Great Depression, as well as governing as our longest serving Prime Minister of Canada. Mackenzie King is a man of great skills and plans for which no other Prime Minister would come up with. Many Prime Ministers’ now look up to him, and to this day, he is our inspiration and motivation to create a better nation. Of all the Canadian Prime Ministers, he may be the one who did the most for our country and our people. King always kept his word on a lot of issues that his people were waiting to be brought up or on. King focused on his main goals all the way to the end, which was national unity, and he understood and agreed to the whole conscription issue. Therefore, this is what makes William Lyon Mackenzie King the greatest Canadian.

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