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People

Sir George-Étienne Cartier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier

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Sir George-Étienne Cartier

Cartier was born at St.-Antoine-sur-Richelieu in Lower Canada on September 6, 1814. He came from a wealthy family who claimed to be very distant relatives of the famous French explorer Jacques Cartier. He became a lawyer in 1835 and also got involved in the railway business. Cartier became active in politics in 1848 when he was first elected as a member of the Province of Canada's Assembly. He later became leader of a political party called the Parti Bleu that joined with the Conservative Party of Upper Canada.

John A. Macdonald led the Conservatives, and together he and Cartier were co-prime ministers of the Province of Canada. The two of them believed that forming a new, bigger country was the answer to the province's problems. Cartier was responsible for convincing most French Canadians that Confederation would be good for French Canada, as it would make Quebec a separate province. He died on May 20, 1873.

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