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The History Makers

1959 3 éditions
Dès le
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From the most intrepid explorers to the fathers of Confederation, this series of 17 half-hour episodes tells the compelling early history of our great country.

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The History Makers
  • Joseph Howe: The Tribune of Nova Scotia
    This short drama is a portrait of Nova Scotian journalist and politician Joseph Howe (1804-1873) and his battle for freedom of press. When, in 1835, Howe was accused of seditious libel, no lawyer dared defend him. Choosing to defend himself, he addressed the jury for over 6 hours, urging jurors to leave an unshackled press as a legacy to their children. Though the judge instructed the jury to find Howe guilty, jurors took only 10 minutes to acquit him - a landmark event in the evolution of press freedom in Canada.
  • Lord Durham
    This short drama is a portrait of colonial administrator, Governor General and statesman Lord Durham (1792-1840). When Durham recommended self-government in Canada, he closed the door on his own political success. But in the end, the policies he declared for Canada became the pattern for self-rule in the rest of the Commonwealth.
  • Lord Elgin: Voice of the People
    This short film tells the story of Lord Elgin, a man’s whose faith in a nation’s right to self-determination was stronger than the threat of the mob or his own fear of failure. Successor to Lord Durham, he established the principles on which Canadian government stands today.
  • Louis-Joseph Papineau: The Demi-God
    This short drama is a portrait of Quebec lawyer and politician Louis-Joseph Papineau (1786-1871). A proud, defiant man, skillful in parliamentary debate, and Speaker of the Lower House, his heart was with the people being pillaged by the business elite. When legislation became the instrument of private advantage, Papineau brought government to a standstill.
  • Robert Baldwin: A Matter of Principle
    This film is a reconstruction of Robert Baldwin’s involvement in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837. Though bound to the cause of constitutional reform by principle, Baldwin’s heart was with the rebels and in the midst of armed revolt, he withdrew to fight a lonely battle with himself.
  • William Lyon Mackenzie: A Friend to His Country
    This documentary short is a portrait of Scottish-born journalist, politician, and rebellion leader William Lyon McKenzie. The first mayor of Toronto, he was an important leader during the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion. This film portrays his election, his later defeat, his exile, and his fight for responsible government.
  • Alexander Galt: The Stubborn Idealist
    For Alexander Galt it was the middle of the road, until he saw some hope for his dream of a united Canada. What was he like, this stubborn idealist? How did he measure up to other political strongmen of his time? In this film you sense the personal clashes and the interplay of political ambitions that left their mark on history.
  • Charles Tupper: The Big Man
    This short historical reenactment is a portrait of Canadian Father of Confederation Charles Tupper. The film harks back to a time when the idea of a federal union was still hotly debated, when it was unclear whether Nova Scotia would come in or remain out. It studies a bigger-than-life politician who won over both his bitterest opponent, Joseph Howe, and the people of this Maritime province, to finally lead Nova Scotia into the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
  • George-Étienne Cartier: The Lion of Québec
    This short biopic profiles Montreal lawyer-turned-politician George-Étienne Cartier as he campaigns to unite English and French Canada under Confederation. The political world of a century ago comes to life as we hear debates in the Parliament of Upper and Lower Canada amidst political strife and personal feuds. Ultimately, Cartier skilfully allays the fears of party and sectional leaders, convincing them that federal union would protect, rather than weaken, Quebec’s cherished rights of language and religion. The eloquent and enigmatic Cartier was instrumental in shaping the Canada that was soon to emerge.
  • John A. Macdonald: The Impossible Idea
    This short fiction film tells the story of John A. MacDonald’s rise to power. Canada’s first Prime Minister and one of the Fathers of the Confederation, MacDonald didn’t enjoy an easy political career. When he first shared his vision of a Dominion reaching from sea to sea – an audacious proposal regarded as uncertain even by his supporters – his opponents derided him. “The fox is out of tricks," they taunted. "Bankrupt of ideas, he offers us clouds." This film offers us a memorable flashback
  • Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine
    This short film offers a glimpse into the life of Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine, the Chief Justice who died prematurely but left French Canada a legacy of political freedom. Shot entirely in Montreal, the film begins on the day of his death, and flashes back to tense moments throughout his life. French with English subtitles.
  • Alexander Mackenzie: The Lord of the North
    Filmed on the great Mackenzie River, this short fiction film recreates the amazing voyage of the man who gave his name to it. Following the path outlined in Mackenzie's journal, the film depicts his arduous journey by canoe all the way to the salt water of the Arctic Ocean - one of the great epics of northern exploration.
  • Champlain
    Explorer, colonizer, founder of Québec, discoverer of Lake Champlain, governor of New France, cartographer and writer--few men in Canadian history had a more adventurous and varied career than Champlain. This film presents an exciting picture-study of the man and his time.
  • David Thompson: The Great Mapmaker
    This short film recreates the story of David Thompson – a man who, over the course of his lifetime, mapped a-million-and-a-half square miles of uncharted territory. His achievement remains unsurpassed.
  • John Cabot: A Man of the Renaissance
    This short film documents John Cabot's quest to discover a westward route across the sea to the Orient in 15th-century Europe. The resulting story is one that explores the geography of the Renaissance world as well as its social and intellectual character.
  • The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson
    This short film realistically portrays the conflict Henry Hudson experienced when he went in search of an open water route to the Orient, and no one would follow him. What he discovered instead was an inland sea, a discovery that ended in tragedy.
  • Selkirk of Red River
    This film tells the story of the Red River settlement, now the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The pioneer venture of Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, to establish a colony brought opposition from the North West Company, the Hudson's Bay Company’s powerful rival. A fine cast of actors portrays the ensuing dispute.



From the most intrepid explorers to the fathers of Confederation, this series of 17 half-hour episodes tells the compelling early history of our great country.

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