Conscription Crisis

Topics: World War I, Canada, Conscription Pages: 4 (1212 words) Published: June 9, 2008
Conscription Crisis, 1917

The defining moment I chose is Conscription Crisis, 1917. This predicament started in early 1917 right down to the end of the war. World War I broke out in 1914 and Canada, as a collaborator of Great Britain, involuntarily found itself in the scrimmage. Such was the estimation of Prime Minister Robert Borden, to say the least.

Towards the end of 1916, tallies were being sent back to the commonwealth of the total killed. The information was catastrophic. 1916 was demonstrating to be the most horrible year of the war so far, at least for the Allies. The French and British had experienced and were still suffering heavy casualties. French soldiers at Verdun were even beginning to mutiny. Russia was whispered to be diminishing out of the war. Some radical action had to be taken.

A new government in Great Britain, which was determined to win the Great War, had requested all its dominions, i.e. Canada, to put forth fresh recruitments. After a visit to the battlefront, Prime Minister Borden agreed in every respect with this proposition. He had witnessed himself that the Australians, who had much less inhabitants than Canada, had put forth undisputedly more supplementary soldiers then Canada.

Conversely, volunteers were getting harder to get. Due to the fact that the numbers of fatalities in the war were not kept undisclosed to the communal, the request of the government for additional armed forces seemed incredulous, and had an instantaneous reverse effect. When Prime Minister Borden formerly put forth the idea, in private I might add, not yet in the House of Commons, his own cabinet, which he himself had put in place, told him the idea was crazy, preposterous.

Borden was convinced of the significance of launching a compulsory conscription structure to recompense for wounded and deceased. Even his cabinet became increasingly distressed as to some extent agree with what he said. He thus passed the Military Service Act....
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