Robert Borden was the prime minister who led Canada through the contentious years of World War I. An attorney by trade, he entered politics in 1896 and quickly rose to leader of the Conservative Party. (This post is a companion piece to Melina Druga’s WWI Trilogy, Angel of Mercy, Those Left Behind and Adjustment Year, available wherever eBooks are sold.)
Borden became prime minister following the nasty 1911 federal election that split the nation between those who were for and those who were against free trade with the United States.
Borden is the last prime minister to have been born before the formation of Canada as a nation. He resigned in 1920 and died in 1937.
Here are some of Borden’s accomplishments during his nearly nine-year term:
- Committed the Canadian Expeditionary Force to Britain.
- Implemented conscription in 1917.
- Instituted the income tax.
- Women gained the right to vote on a federal level.
- Insisted Canada have a say during the Treaty of Versailles negotiations and have its own seat on the League of Nations.
After leaving office, Borden wrote several books. He also had a varied career, serving as the head of several universities, financial institutions and organizations.
Schools have been named after him and for a number of years, he appeared on Canada’s $100 bill.
Updated: 28 October 2020