Born on November 20, 1841, Wilfrid Laurier entered into a poor family that could barely scrape together enough money to buy food for the children food. Laurier was a smart child and his parents new that he accomplish great things. Because Laurier was so smart, his father made a decision that could benefit or destroy the rest of Laurier's life. His father decided to send him to an English speaking school in Montreal to give him a better education than he was being provided with. When Laurier headed off to University he attended McGill University to study Law.
By then Laurier spoke English and French fluently and he wasn't afraid to say what was on his mind. In university Laurier managed a high academic profile, studying to become a lawyer as well as a part time job as a law clerk. In his graduating year Laurier was chosen for Valedictorian. Little did everyone know years later he would be speaking not for just his graduating class, but for all of Canada. Laurier then married a much older French woman by the name of Zoi?? Lafontaine in 1868 but had no children.
Even though Laurier had no children with Zoi?? , it is lead to believe that Laurier fathered a child that belonged to Emilie Lavergne. Emilie had been Laurier's best friend. Emilie had made Laurier into an amazing people person and taught him how to be presentable when doing his job. Because of Emilie's help, Laurier quickly earned a reputation as an excellent lawyer and public speaker. On the left is Wilfrid Laurier and on the right is Armand Lavergne, son of Emilie Lavergne and believed to be the son of Wilfrid Laurier.
This is believed because of their striking resemblance. When Laurier ran for a seat in the Quebec Legislature in 1871, he felt very strongly about people having freedom to vote in their own opinion. In 1874 he was elected as an MP. Even after the Catholics told people not to vote for freethinking Liberals. After 13 years as an MP he became Liberal leader. And in 1896 defeated the Conservatives and became Prime Minister. After Laurier was elected as prime minister he tried to make Canada no longer divided along language and religion lines.
In 1896 gold was discovered in the Klondike. Because of this, people went north to claim the riches. Laurier also wanted people to go west by offering them free land in exchange for setting up homesteads. In 1899 Britain called on Canadian soldiers to help them in the Boer War in South Africa. Going along with his policy Laurier didn't want to force Canadians to go if they didn't want to, so Laurier made it voluntary. He agreed to pay for whoever wanted to go.
Meanwhile English Canadians felt that Laurier wasn't doing enough while French Canadians thought that Canada shouldn't help at all. Laurier's Boer War Dilemma. "The Prime Minister, Wilfrid Laurier, was caught between English-Canadian and French-Canadian public opinion. The former wanted Canada to send troops to South Africa. The latter was strongly opposed to Canadian participation in the war. The cartoon shows Laurier hiding while Canadian volunteers, paid by Britain, march off to Britain's aid. "