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George Brown

George Brown (1818-1880) was a Scottish-born Canadian journalist and politician. The founder and editor of the Toronto Globe, he was a noted Reform politician and supporter of Canadian Confederation.

Brown immigrated to Canada in 1843, and founded the Globe there in 1844. He supported political reform in Canada, especially "representation by population," and was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1851.

He reorganized the Clear Grit (Liberal) Party in 1857, supporting, among other things, the separation of church and state and the annexation of the Northwest Territories. He became one of the chief developers of the concept of Confederation among the provinces. In 1864 he led the Great Coalition with John A. Macdonald and Georges-Etienne Cartier, and later that year played a major role role at the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences. He resigned from the Coalition in 1865.

Brown was made a Senator in Ottawa in 1873.

Brown became a leading opponent of Macdonald's Conservative Party and a leader of the opposition Liberals. He lost much popularity, however, by tyranically trying to crush a printers strike in Toronto. He had the strikers jailed and fired. In response to these actions by his rival Macdonald passed laws permitting trade unionism for the first time in Canada.

In 1880, one of his former employees of the Globe, George Bennett, who was disgruntled by Brown's actions, shot Brown in the leg in Toronto; what seemed to be a minor injury turned gangrenous, and he died from the wound.



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