William Lyon Mackenzie A Friend To His Country Analysis
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June, 22, 2015
Historical Film Analysis William Lyon Mackenzie: A Friend to His Country
I chose to analyze a short documentary directed by Julian Biggs, in 1961. William Lyon Mackenzie: A Friend to His Country. This film portrays Mr. Makenzie importance and political influence in Canada in the 1830’s-1850, his election, his defeat, his exile and his fight for a responsible government. Mackenzie was arguing that American-born settlers in Upper Canada should have the full rights of British subjects. His Leadership in rebellions led to the British North America acts, in 1840 which, reformed the British provinces into a unitary system and later led to the British North America act in 1867, which created Canada…show more content… He served as a member of the legislative Assembly of Upper Canada for York, then in 1834 became the first mayor of Toronto. In 1824, Mackenzie established his most famous newspaper, named the Colonial Advocate. It was at first established to influence voters in the elections for the 9th Parliament in Upper Canada. Mackenzie supported many characteristics that the British institutions, but he also praised American institutions in the paper. The Colonial Advocate faced many financial struggles by not having enough subscribers, and in November 1824, Mackenzie relocated his paper to York. There, he campaigned in favor of the Reform movement and became an important critic to the domination of the government of Upper Canada. In 1826, Mackenzie fled to the American boarder (New York) to get away from mobs of people who were offended by his work. The bobs broke into the Colonial Advocate's office in the middle of the day, smashed the printing press, and threw the typing machine into Lake Ontario. Mackenzie, then later returned and took full advantage of the circumstance and sued the perpetrators in a remarkable trial, which helped him rise up in business and put him on good financial…show more content… This forced Mackenzie to flee Canada and settle in New York City in January of 1838 and in 1839 he moved back to Rochester N.Y. where he faced serious problems. By this time many of Mackenzie’s generous supporters supported him enough to form a new newspaper, named Mackenzie's Gazette. In the paper he continued to attack Americans policies and British subjects. These papers again lost many readers interest and people weren’t buying, which put him in debt once again. In June 1839 his trial was finally being held for breaking neutrality laws in the United States where he was sentenced to eighteen months in jail, and a $10 fine. This hurt him, as he wasn’t able to provide for his family because he worried for their health, and safety. While in jail Mackenzie continued to publish paper from jail, and would not compromise to Durham way, but it appeared only as nonsense to him. Shortly after some time in prison, he became hopeless and ill. He also suffered d from a near death of his child and death of his mother which was his biggest supporter.
In 1840 Mackenzie was pardoned and let out of jail, and still found no amnesty. He worked for several years for others, traveled with friends and wrote about political issues. 1846-1847 Mackenzie found himself working for other people newspapers to provide food and medicine to his family. His daughter