John Alexander MacDonald was born on January 11th 1815, in Glasgow, Scotland. He was born to Hugh MacDonald and Helen Shaw. He immigrated to Canada as a young boy in 1820. He left school at the age of 14 and eventually began to work in a law office at the early age of 15. Though, after the death of the owner of the office MacDonald left and at the age of nineteen MacDonald had already started his own law practice. He fought for the Militia in 1837 to defeat the rebellion in Upper Canada. MacDonald married in 1843 and took Isabella Clark as his first bride. He had a child with Mary but it died in infancy. He had a second son named Hugh John with Mary. Unfortunately for MacDonald, Isabella was sick for most of their marriage and succumbed to her illness in 1857 and passed away. John would later marry Susan Agnes Bernard in 1867 during the London Conference. His second wife Susan was much more interested in McDonald's political career and would often watch his debates and would sit in the House of Commons' gallery to watch his debates and speeches. Unfortunately McDonald's only child with Susan, their daughter Mary, was severely handicapped. Although, despite this MacDonald was apparently said to have been extremely fond of his daughter, and positive on the matter as it was said by his wife Susan " Oftentimes he comes in with a very moody brow, tired and oppressed, his voice weak his step slow; and ten minutes after he is making very clever jokes and laughing like any schoolboy with his hands in his pockets and his head thrown back .... I tell him his good heart and amiable temper are the great secrets of his success.” MacDonald would later pass away on June 6 because of a stroke he suffered on May 29th. He made any accomplishments in his lifetime both political and personally, that changed the course of Canadian History.
John A MacDonald played a huge role in the confederation. MacDonald assisted in the founding of the liberal-conservative party in Canada West (in1856). He was the premier of Canada West in 1856. He played major role in all the conferences leading to confederation, but especially in the Charlottetown Conference in his efforts to convince the Maritime colonies that joining a larger union would benefit them in a multitude of ways. After Canada was officially a country there was a gap, who would lead; John A MacDonald was chosen (democratically) for the job of Prime Minister. He was the very first Prime minister of the Dominion of Canada, but he wouldn't stop his drive for the unionization of North America with the confederation of Just 4 colonies (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec). In 1869 the North-West Territories joined Canada, in 1870 Manitoba was formed. Later in 1871 British Columbia came into the Dominion of Canada. Than two years later 1873 Prince Edward Island joined confederation, and in 1880 the British handed Arctic Islands over to Canada. There was some pause in MacDonald's interest in the addition of the Western Prairies, but the very real threat of British takeover gave reason for him to continue his efforts in that area of North America. He believed the fact of settling the West and only saw it possible through the construction of a pacific railway. The railway had an associated scandal that cost MacDonald and his party their time in office in the form of forced resignation. The scandal entailed accusations from the opposition that the conservatives accepted bribes in the form of a large donation to their campaign. The man who gave these accused bribes was the man who was given the grant to build the railway; Sir Hugh Allan. This hardly slowed down MacDonald's political career as he was re-elected with his conservatives in the election of 1878 after losing the election of their 1873 resignation. Even Macdonald's peers acknowledged his political accomplishments and after his death in1891 , Wilfred Laurier said "It may be said, without any exaggeration whatever, that the life of Sir John MacDonald, from the he entered Parliament, is the the history of Canada, for he was connected and associated with all the events, all the facts which brought Canada from the position it than occupied-the position of two small provinces, having nothing in common allegiance, united by a bond of paper and united by nothing else-to the ... state of development which Canada has reached." This is just an example of how much of a contributor John A MacDonald was to the Confederation of Canada and its further development as a country.