Why Conscientious Objectors Were Treated More Harshly during WWI

Topics: World War I, World War II, Conscription Pages: 2 (506 words) Published: October 6, 2013
Why were conscientious objectors treated more harshly in ww1 than ww2? Conscientious objectors were people who simply didn’t want to fight in war. They were a sign that not everyone was as happy as being involved in the war as the government would’ve liked. Conscientious objectors or C.O’s were seen as cowards and therefore if they didn’t participate in war then they would be treated harshly. In WW1 people treated C.O’s more harshly. Conscientious objectors in WW1 were rejected from society and were seen as cowards. They were treated so harshly because in the eyes of their country they were seen as traitors because they were not serving the country. People treated them more harshly because they didn’t know truly what war was about and how devastating the effects of war were on the men that came back, for example men were blinded from gas and their minds destroyed by the numerous shells exploding around them. After WW1 people were more aware about the reality of the war and therefore understood the beliefs of the conscientious objectors so in WW2 the people wouldn’t treat them as harshly because they would understand that the war wasn’t what they thought it would be. The people saw war as being glorious and not until the end on the war did they see the true effects the war had on the soldiers. If the men didn’t go to war then they were punished, some worse than others for example some were made to do hard labour for hours and some were simply shot if they refused to do any work. The reason they were treated so harshly was because they were seen as cowards and especially as no one knew what the war was really like (a lot of the truth was censored) meant that people only saw the ‘good’ in the war and didn’t understand why you wouldn’t go and support your country. Men were also publically humiliated for not participating in the war by the white feather campaign. This was to signify that the man was a coward so anyone who saw the man with it could verbally or...
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