Pierre Elliott Trudeau: His Life And Political Career.

797 words - 3 pages

***Please note: this essay was marked in the form of an oral report, along with visual aides. However, it could be used as a straight essay.***Pierre Elliott TrudeauTrudeau was born in Montreal in October 1919, to a fairly wealthy family. His mother, Grace Elliott, his mother, was a fairly quiet, refined woman of Scottish descent. But his father, Charles, was almost the exact opposite. Loud, very outgoing, athletic and highly opinionated, he was an entrepreneur, who made his fortune on a chain of gas stations. Most people, even Pierre himself, say that he is much more like his father, although Charles Trudeau died when Pierre was only 15. After high school, Trudeau studied law at the University de Montreal. There, though, when he became the University's student body leader, was the first time he realized he was interested in politics. Years later, he became parliamentary secretary to then-Prime Minister Lester Pearson. Soon after, he became Justice Minister. Trudeau was paving his way to running the country.In 1968, Pierre Trudeau burst onto the scene, and after a hard-fought election battle, became Prime Minister. Right away, he learned the tricks of the trade, at least when appearing in public. Many people regarded him as "a made-for-TV politician:" Trudeau was intelligent, charming, witty, and athletic. He also dated glamorous and famous women at the time, such as Barbara Streisand. All of this, and the favourable media attention it brought, caused the start of "Trudeaumania." But his incredible popularity would not last for long. After about a month in power, Trudeau proposed the extremely controversial Official Languages Act, which guaranteed a bilingual country. (That meant that both French and English would become official languages.) He could not stand Quebec separatists, who wanted a French-speaking only province. He thought they were, quote, "stupid" and was not shy to tell them what he thought. He sometimes gave the finger to protestors from his passing limousine. This caused very high tensions. Soon, a British diplomat, James Cross, and later a Canadian cabinet minister, were abducted by a terrorist group named the Quebec Liberation Front. Trudeau retaliated, becoming the only Canadian Prime Minister to activate the War Measures Act during peacetime. This Act allowed police and the army to arrest anyone they felt like checking up on, to make sure they were not...

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