Arthur Meighen

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Arthur Meighen
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9th Prime Minister of Canada
First Term: July 10,1920
December 29,1921
Second Term: June 29,1926
September 25,1926
Predecessor: Sir Robert Borden
Successor: William Lyon Mackenzie King
Date of Birth: June 16, 1874
Place of Birth: Anderson, Ontario
Spouse: Isabel J. Cox
Profession: lawyer
Political Party: Conservative, Unionist

Arthur Meighen (June 16, 1874August 5, 1960) was the ninth Prime Minister of Canada from July 10, 1920, to December 29, 1921, and June 29 to September 25, 1926. Both his terms were brief, the second being unprecedented and arose partially out of conflicts between the Governor General of Canada and Meighen's rival, William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Meighen was born in Anderson, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from the University of Toronto, earning a B.A. in Mathematics in 1896. In 1904 he married Isabel J. Cox (1882 - 1985) with whom he had two sons and one daughter. In 1990, one of his grandsons, Michael Meighen was appointed to the Canadian Senate by then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Meighen experimented in several professions, including those of teacher, lawyer and businessman, before becoming involved in politics as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1908, defeating incumbent John Crawford in the Manitoba riding of Portage La Prairie. He was re-elected in 1908 and 1911, and again in 1913 after being appointed Solicitor-General.

Meighen served as Solicitor-General from June 26, 1913, until August 25, 1917, when he was appointed Minister of Mines and Secretary of State for Canada. He was again shifted on October 12, 1917, this time to the positions of Minister of the Interior and Superintendent of Indian Affairs. He was also re-appointed Minister of Mines on the last day of 1920.

In 1919, as acting Minister of Justice and senior Manitoban in the government of Sir Robert Laird Borden, Meighen helped put down the Winnipeg General Strike by force. He became leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party and Prime Minister on July 7, 1920, when Borden resigned.

Meighen fought the 1921 election under the banner of the National Liberal and Conservative Party in an attempt to keep the allegiance of Liberals who had supported the wartime Unionist government. The party was defeated by the Liberals led by William Lyon Mackenzie King, and Meighen was personally defeated in Portage La Prairie. He continued to lead the Conservative Party (which had reverted to its traditional name), and returned to parliament in 1922 for the eastern Ontario riding of Grenville.

The Tories won a plurality of seats in the inconclusive election of 1925, but King was able to hold onto to power until 1926 through an alliance with the Progressives. When King was on the verge of losing a vote in the Commons in 1926, he asked the Governor General, Lord Byng, to call an election. When Byng refused, King resigned and Meighen was invited to form a government. This became known as the "King-Byng Affair". Meighen's government was quickly defeated in the Commons, and Byng promptly called an election. Meighan's party was swept from office, and Meighen was again defeated in Portage La Prairie. He resigned as Conservative Party leader shortly thereafter.

Meighen was appointed to the Senate in 1932 by R.B. Bennett. He served as Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister without Portfolio from February 3, 1932, to October 22, 1935.

In 1941, Meighen was prevailed upon to become leader of the Conservative Party again. He resigned his Senate seat on January 16, 1942, and campaigned in a by-election for the Toronto riding of York South. He was defeated by the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation's Joseph Noseworthy, however, and once again withdrew from public life.

Arthur Meighen died in Toronto, Ontario, on August 5, 1960, and was buried in St. Marys Cemetery, St. Marys, Ontario, near his birthplace.

External links

Preceded by:
Sir Robert Borden
Prime Minister of Canada
Succeeded by:
Mackenzie King
Preceded by:
Mackenzie King
Prime Minister of Canada
Succeeded by:
Mackenzie King
Preceded by:
Sir Robert Borden
Conservative leaders
Succeeded by:
Hugh Guthrie
Preceded by:
Richard Hanson
Conservative leaders
Succeeded by:
John Bracken

Template:End box Template:CanPMfr:Arthur Meighen pl:Arthur Meighen pt:Arthur Meighen


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