“The twentieth century belongs to Canada”

Nineteenth Century quote attributed to Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier1 that turned out to be largely non-prophetic. The text of the original quotation was:

The nineteenth century was the century of the United States. I think we can claim that it is Canada that shall fill the twentieth century.

If Laurier meant, in a more traditional interpretation of his words, that Canada would emerge as a major power with a large geopolitical or mercantile imprint, he was certainly off his mark. The American publisher Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, was far more accurate when he declared, some fifty years later, the twentieth century to be “the American century.”

If, however, Laurier meant that Canada was to be an oasis of peace and prosperity through a tumultuous and hideously violent century, he may have been on to something.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


  1. 1919: The death of Sir Wilfrid Laurier. CBC Digital Archives.

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