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Canadian Theme Unit
Mackenzie King



Mackenzie King
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.29

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    divisive, maternal, old-age, conscription, scandal, stodgy, avid, consultant, convention, overturn, internment, agreement, impressed, refused, doctorate, shortly
     content words:    Mackenzie King, William Lyon Mackenzie King, William Lyon Mackenzie, Upper Canada Rebellion, Harvard University, Sir Wilfrid, Rockefeller Foundation, World War, French Canadian, Prime Minister


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Mackenzie King
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     When many people think of a leader, they think of someone with charm, great speaking ability, and a knack for stirring others to action. This may be true in some instances, but not in the case of Mackenzie King.
 
2     William Lyon Mackenzie King was born in Kitchener, Ontario, on December 17, 1874. He was named for his maternal grandfather, William Lyon Mackenzie, a leader in the Upper Canada Rebellion.
 
3     An avid student, King earned five university degrees, one of them a doctorate from Harvard University. While in university he worked as a reporter for a Toronto paper.
 
4     The ambition for political office affected King as it had his grandfather. In 1908, he ran as a liberal candidate and was elected. A year later, he was appointed to Sir Wilfrid Laurier's cabinet as the Minister of Labour.
 
5     Five years later he lost that seat. He didn't worry about anything but immediately got himself another job. This time it was as a consultant for the Rockefeller Foundation in the States.
 
6     It wasn't until 1917 that he returned to Canada and ran for office. He lost, but that didn't stop him from trying again.
 
7     At that time, World War I was still in progress. King returned to Canada supporting Laurier's opinion that the army should be manned by volunteers. There should be no conscription forcing Canadian men to fight.
 
8     This position was in agreement with the French Canadian part of the population but not with the English-speakers. The loss was a direct result of his problem with conscription.
 
9     Two years later, King was elected head of the Liberal party in its first Leadership convention. That meant at the next national election, he would be the Liberal candidate for Prime Minister.

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