In this episode, we turn attention to one of the greatest statesmen in Canadian history.
Thomas D’Arcy McGee was a father of Canadian confederation, a champion of minority rights, and the principal architect of the unique constitutional protections afforded to Catholic schools in Canadian provinces - protections which are arguably unprecedented and unrivaled among Western democratic nations.
Although overlooked in the history books of the Great White North, McGee exerted enormous influence on the founding of Canada and has many things to teach us in a present-day context defined by polarized political debates. Sadly, one of those lessons stems from the untimely death he encountered courtesy of an assassin’s bullet.
Our guest is Dr. David Wilson of the History Department and Celtic Studies Program at the University of Toronto. Wilson is the author of the two-volume authoritative biography of D’Arcy McGee, which won the Canadian Historical Association prize for political history. His fields of expertise include the Irish in North America, revolutionary movements, as well as religion and nationalism.
Dr. David Wilson (biography)
David Wilson, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Volume 1: Passion, Reason, and Politics, 1825-1857
David Wilson, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Volume 2: The Extreme Moderate, 1857-1868
Please note that this podcast has been edited for length and clarity.