Oft Forgotten Prime Minister

Internal development of Canada's internal bord...

On November 25, 1857, Prime Minister Sir Etienne Tache resigned.

From 1812 to 1841, Tache was a surgeon; from 1841 to 1865, he was a politician. He died July 30, 1865. That’s two years before Confederation, which is why he’s often forgotten in the history books.

Etienne Tache started politics in 1841, when the Act of Union was established. He was elected as a member for the riding of L’Islet. When he spoke of the need to have a militia for Lower Canada, in 1846, his fellow politicians took notice. Two months later, he was appointed Deputy Adjutant-General of the militia by the Draper-Papineau government. He was now in charge of putting together a Lower Canadian armed forces. Two years after that, he was appointed to the Executive Council and named Chief Commissioner of Public Works.

In 1855-1856, Tache formed a government with Allan Napier MacNab as Prime Minister for Lower Canada.

When MacNab was forced to resign, Tache chose John A. Macdonald to form a new government until 1957. This marked the first coalition between the Liberals of Lower Canada and the Conservatives of Upper Canada.

In 1857, Tache founded Le Courier du Canada, a newspaper. This was the instrument in which he presented his thoughts on creating a Confederation. Governor Monck invited Tache to return to politics. So Tache again teamed up with John A. Macdonald, but it only lasted about a month. It seemed that the United Canadian political system just wasn’t working!

In 1864, Tache helped create the Great Coalition. He chaired the Quebec Conference and was responsible for promoting the 72 Resolutions to the Legislative Council, which John A. Macdonald presented to the Parliament.


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