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Alexander Mackenzie

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Alexander Mackenzie
Image:Alexander_mackenzie.jpg
Rank: 2nd (1873-1878)
Date of Birth: January 28, 1822
Place of Birth: Logierait, Scotland
Spouses: Helen Neil, Jane Sym
Profession: Stonemason 
Political Party: Liberal Party of Canada

Alexander Mackenzie (January 28, 1822April 17, 1892), a building contractor and writer, was the second Prime Minister of Canada from November 7, 1873 to October 8, 1878.

He was born in Logierait, Scotland. He immigrated 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, Lord Dufferin, had to call on someone to form a government. There was no clear leader of the Liberal Party. Mackenzie was the fourth person called upon, and the first to accept, the post of Prime Minister. Mackenzie formed a government and then asked the Govenor General to call an election for January 1874. The Liberals won, and Mackenzie remained prime minister until the 1878 election when Macdonald's Conservatives returned to power with a majority government.

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. After his government's defeat, Mackenzie remained Leader of the Opposition until 1880, when he relinquished the party leadership to Edward Blake.

At the time, it was customary for the British monarch to knight all Canadian Prime Ministers. Alexander Mackenzie declined all offers of a British knighthood because of his Scottish heritage.

He died in Toronto, Ontario, from a stroke that resulted from hitting his head during a fall. He is buried in the Lakeview Cemetery, Sarnia, Ontario.

Helen Neil Mackenzie

Helen Neil Mackenzie (October 21, 1826-January 4, 1852) was the first wife of Sir Alexander Mackenzie. She had three children, and died after being married to Mackenzie for seven years. Helen and Alexander only had one child (two other children died in infancy), a girl, named Mary Mackenzie. It was because of Helen, who previously immigrated to Canada with her family, that Alexander himself came to Canada.

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Preceded by:
Sir John A. Macdonald
Prime Minister of Canada
1873–1878
Succeeded by:
Sir John A. Macdonald
Preceded by:
George Brown
Liberal Leaders
1873–1880
Succeeded by:
Edward Blake

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Template:CanPMpl:Alexander Mackenzie (premier Kanady) pt:Alexander Mackenzie

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