Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for August 7th!
August 7th, 1930, R. B. Bennett asked to form government on resignation of Mackenzie King. This Canadian History for Kids, Sketches of Canada, looks at the life of Canada’s 11th Prime Minister.
Richard Bedford Bennett was born on July 3, 1870 in Hopewell, New Brunswick. At age 23, Bennett graduated from Dalhousie Law School where he was known for his complex speeches and how rigid he was in matters of tobacco, alcohol, and fun.
Extremely successful as a lawyer in Calgary, Bennett was first elected to Parliament in the 1911 Conservative landslide. When Prime Minister Borden refused him a Cabinet post, “Bonfire Bennett,” as he was called, left politics.
This Canadian History for Kids article continues in 1921 when Arthur Meighen named Bennett his Minister of Justice. Five years later, he became Minister of Finance. Finally, at the Conservative Party’s first leadership convention in 1927, Bennett’s goal was realized when he was elected party leader. He ran an ground-breaking 1930 electoral campaign using mechanized mailing and radio.
Bennett seemed successful and confident, promising grand national projects, funds for the unemployed and elderly, and jobs. Bennett won the election with 137 seats.
Bennett dominated his ministers and annoyed most with his huge ego. He had promised to end unemployment by raising the tariff. But this policy failed and he received full blame for his government’s failure to relieve the stress of the Great Depression.
This Canadian History for Kids article continues on the eve of the 1935 election when Bennett announced a “New Deal,” with regulated working hours, minimum wages, unemployment insurance. But it was to late. He had disturbed both rich Conservatives and the suffering public and had been unable to deliver on his promises. Bennett’s Conservatives took only 40 seats to 171 for King’s Liberals, in that election.
As prime minister, Bennett created two powerful institutions, the Bank of Canada and the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Corporation (CRBC). Bennett died June 26, 1947 in Mickleham, Surrey, England. He is the only Canadian Prime Minister not buried in Canada.
Canadian History for Kids’ Highlights as Prime Minister:
The following measures were put in place while R.B. Bennett was Prime Minister of Canada
- the Relief Act 1926
- creation of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission 1932
- creation of the Bank of Canada 1935
- creation of the Canadian Wheat Board 1935
And that’s this week Canadian History for Kids Sketches of Canada!