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Alexander Mackenzie Biography
Alexander Mackenzie (January 28, 1822 - April 17, 1892) was the second Prime Minister of Canada from November 7, 1873 to October 8, 1878.

He was born in Logierait, Scotland. He emigrated to Canada in 1842 after completing an education in public schools at Perth, Moulin, and Dunkeld, Scotland. Mackenzie married Helen Neil (1826-1852) in 1845 and with her had three children, with only one girl surviving infancy. In 1853 he married Jane Sym (1825-1893).

When the Macdonald government fell due to the Pacific scandal in 1873, the Governor General needed to call on someone to form a government as elections were unnecessary. There was no clear leader of the opposition and Mackenzie was the fourth person called upon, and the first to accept, the post of Prime Minister of Canada. He led what was emerging as the Liberal Party from his acceptance of the Prime Ministership in 1873 until 1880. He was Prime Minister until 1878, when the Macdonald Conservatives came back into power after winning a majority in parliamentary elections.

As Prime Minister, Alexander Mackenzie strove to reform and simplify the machinery of government. He introduced the secret ballot; created the Supreme Court of Canada; established the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario in 1874; created the Office of the Auditor General in 1878; and struggled to launch the national railway.

At the time, it was customary for the British monarch to knight all Canadian Prime Ministers. But Scottish memories run deep and Alexander Mackenzie declined all offers of a British knighthood.

He died in Toronto, Ontario and is buried in the Lakeview Cemetery, Sarnia, Ontario.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Alexander Mackenzie.