The Ten Years before the Fall
If the whole course of Mackenzie King's life were to be shown in the form of a chart of progress and reverses, the year 1911 would appear as the peak of a series of advances, and also as the startingpoint of a downward trend to life on very much lower levels. September 21 was the dividing point, the day of the Canadian general election which resulted in the defeat of the Laurier government and of Mackenzie King in his own constituency. Between this fall in 1911 and his ultimate rise in 1919 he turned, after months of depressing unemployment, to work for which his earlier experience as a labour expert had qualified him. But he was never able to suppress the stirrings of political ambition; he clung always to the hope that he could return to the life he had found so fascinating before the collapse of 1911. Both aspects of his new life in the later period can be seen in truer perspective if viewed against the background of that earlier decade.
Mackenzie King had been carrying on post-graduate studies in Europe when, in June 1900, he received a cable from Sir William Mulock, then postmaster general, inviting him to become editor of the Labour Gazette in the newly established Department of Labour. He was then a young man of twenty-five years. Sir William, an old friend of the family, had been impressed by the quality of the work King had done while at the University of