• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What role did conscription play for Canada during WWI?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What role did conscription play for Canada during WWI? When looking at the Great War, it is easy to see that-at first-participation levels were high. But what happened? Why was conscription necessary? What purpose did conscription serve? Canada entered World War One on August 4th, 1914. Colonel Sam Hughes was told to create a militia of 25,000 men. After creating a training camp at Valcartier, which was capable of holding 32,000 men, the first contingent was assembled. This contingent had 31,500 men and was named "Canada's answer". There were huge numbers of men who were volunteering to go to war. Because of this, military recruiters were able to hand pick their soldiers. Since they were given this power, they mainly chose white males because they did not want colored folks getting used to shooting white males. French Canadians were also a notable exception from they Canadian military. This was not because they were not being chosen, but because they did not want to fight for England. ...read more.

Middle

This vote was called the Military Voters Act. Borden, however, did something very intelligent. In order to make sure that conscription came to fruition, Borden extended the vote to soldiers overseas. This was smart because obviously those soldiers would vote in favour of conscription because they would want more support. 215,849 soldiers voted in favour of conscription, compared to 18,522 soldiers who voted with Laurier's Liberals (against conscription). Another interesting thing about these votes was that they could be distributed in any riding. This would be useful, for example, if there was a riding in which anti-conscription had slightly more votes; those votes could be transferred to ensure that conscription would be voted in favour of. Had it not been for the military votes, Borden would have only won by100,000 votes. This law began to be enforced starting January 1st, 1918. It directly resulted in 404,385 men becoming eligible for military service. 385,510 of those men asked to be pardoned from conscription, an alarming 95%. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yes, it did send 124,588 men to war to help the pre-existing troops. But what did it do negatively? How did it affect the home front? There is no simple answer. One possible answer is that it further strained English-Canadian and French-Canadian relations. This was a time where these two groups of people already did not like each other. The English-Canadians did not think that the French-Canadians were doing enough to support the military. This point of view makes sense. As was previously mentioned, French Canadians made up 28% of the total population at the time, but merely 5% of the military. The French Canadians did not feel loyalty toward England, or France, only toward Quebec. After conscription was announced there were huge riots in Quebec, and four people were killed. This is an example of how opposed the French Canadians were to conscription. All-in-all conscription played a role for Canada in World War One. Some historians have even gone far enough as to say that it was the single greatest political controversy of that time. While that is debatable, the fact that there were many positive and negative sides to conscription is not. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. History Internal Somme

    "The British had suffered 19,240 dead, 35,493 wounded, 2,152 missing and 585 prisoners for a total loss of 57,470." It was also said at one point on the line, the ratio of British to German deaths was 18-1. (http://www.wikipedia.org). After this first day, Haig continued the onslaught of the German trenches without much success.

  2. Why did Canada send troops to Afghanistan

    a forthcoming meeting of President George Bush and Prime Minister Jean Chr´┐Żtien.9 The following day, Minister of National Defence, Art Eggleton, announced Operation Apollo, the moniker of the first American moon landing, and one obviously chosen to express solidarity with the United States in its moment of tragedy.10Consequently, on December

  1. Architectural Masterpieces in England

    Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1705 on a site which had been in private ownership for at least 150 years.

  2. Technoligical advancements during WWI

    As the stalemate developed on the ground, aircrafts were valued for their accurated bombings and gathering intelligence. Soon the Germans used these airplanes to bombard English cities in hope to frighten the civilians at home and force them to withdraw some troops from the Western Front.

  1. Britain in WWI

    which meant that German naval docks would be built even closer to Britain. This was seen as a major threat and something was needed to be done in order to avoid it, even a preventative war if necessary. On the 4th of August, 1914, Germany invades Belgium as a part

  2. History Before WWI

    divine right of the tsar to rule and exhorted believers to obey the tsar as the agent of God - Conservative Opposition to the tsars - Opposition included revolutionary populist movements like People's Will (planned to bring down the gov't through terrorist acts)

  1. The Effects of the Great Depression on Canada.

    A few tried to save the market, like J. P. Morgan, but that did not hold the market for long. It fluctuated up and down and came down the Thursday morning of October 23, 1929, which is better known as Black Thursday.

  2. Has Canada always been fair when it comes to immigration?

    The Chinese exclusion act lasted for a total of 24 years, in which the population of Chinese in Canada went from 46,500 to 32,500 (The Canadian Encyclopedia). After July 1st, 1923 Chinese immigrants residing in Canada had no freedom. They were forbidden to pursue a career of interest and were only allowed certain jobs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work