Conscription allowed the French Republic to form the La Grande Armée, what Napoleon Bonaparte called "the nation in arms", which successfully battled European professional armies.
Conscription, particularly when the conscripts are being sent to foreign wars that do not directly affect the security of the nation, has historically been highly politically contentious in democracies.
Canada also had a political dispute over conscription during World War II. Similarly, mass protests against conscription to fight the Vietnam War occurred in several countries in the late 1960s.
In developed nations, the increasing emphasis on technological firepower and better-trained fighting forces, the sheer unlikelihood of a conventional military assault on most developed nations, as well as memories of the contentiousness of the Vietnam War experience, make mass conscription unlikely in the foreseeable future.
Russia, as well as many other nations, retains mainly a conscript army. There is also a very rare citizen army as used in Switzerland (see Swiss army).
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Famous quotes containing the words modern and/or late:
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