William Lyon Mackenzie #OnThisDay

On 5th of December 1837 William Lyon Mackenzie led a rebellion in Upper Canada seeking political reform.

Photograph by Shane Prentice: William Lyon Mackenzie, depicted ca. 1851–1861

Born in 1795 in Dundee, Mackenzie emigrated to Canada in 1820.

A founder of newspapers and writer, he believed in radical reform of the corrupt practices in the Upper Canadian political system.

The rebellion which included a short invasion by the USA, was unsuccessful, and Mackenzie was put on trial for the  violation of American neutrality laws. Sentenced to `18 months he was imprisoned on June 21, 1839. In May 1840 he was pardoned, after serving less than one year. 

After a pardon he returned to Canada and continued with a political career always urging for reforms.

To read more about his incredible story please click on this link: MACKENZIE, WILLIAM LYON

His legacy is one which still resonates today. In the Spanish Civil War Canadian volunteers formed the Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion, naming it after Mackenzie and the leader of the Lower Canada Rebellion, Louis-Joseph Papineau

As a legend, Mackenzie has a role and importance that Mackenzie the man could never achieve. Thus he is one of the most documented and discussed and yet one of the most frequently misunderstood figures in Canadian history. 


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