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William Lyon Mackenzie Essay

746 words - 3 pages

William Lyon Mackenzie, the Prime Minister of Toronto and the Leader of the Rebellion in Upper Canada is perceived as both heroic and infamous. In Mackenzie’s speech, The Proclamation to the People of Upper Canada, he is shown to be a strong democratic leader striving for change in the government not only for his own needs but for the people’s needs as well. However, in a political cartoon “Short Fuse”, illustrated by Terry Mosher, Mackenzie is represented as a short-tempered leader, who led his army into an explosive bomb. Both sources have visible differences such as reliability as well as similarities such as a bias perspective.
In The Proclamation, Mackenzie can be represented as having seen the need for change in Upper Canada and was willing to take action to allow for democracy to be present in the government. However in the political cartoon, Mackenzie is depicted as a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any time. Analysing The Proclamation speech, Mackenzie promised freedom for the people; the freedom of trade, true representation in government through a judiciary, no mandatory military service and the promise of education for every citizen (Lindsay 364-365). Mackenzie was not seen as a God, but a man with valour and bravery as seen through his radical statements. Not only did Mackenzie promise freedom from an oligarchy, but he guaranteed “ a legislature […] chosen by the people […] an executive, to be composed of a Governor elected by public voice” (Lindsay, 364-365). Mackenzie appealed to the people’s desires, which would draw conclusions that Mackenzie was a valiant war and political hero. On the other hand, Terry Mosher, the artist of the political cartoon draws a cartoon of Mackenzie’s head fused into a stick of dynamite. In this article Mackenzie can be perceived as a short-tempered prime minister ready to explode at any time. In the rebellion of Upper Canada, Mackenzie did not wait after the rebellion struck in Lower Canada leaving Fort York defenceless. Being a secondary source, Terry Mosher may have depicted Mackenzie as impatient hence striking too early rather than a courageous political leader as in shown in Proclamation. In addition, the reliability of the two sources is different; the political cartoon is a secondary source however The Proclamation is a primary source....

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