The underlying tension between French and English Canada exploded during World War I. Prior to the war, the French Canadians did not see themselves obliged to serve the British interests. The issue reached its zenith when Canadian Prime Minister Robert Borden introduced the Canadian Military Service Act of 1917. Although some farmers and factory workers opposed the legislation, it was in Quebec, where conscription was most vociferously denounced. Leading the campaign against conscription was Quebec nationalist Henri Bourassa and Sir Wilfrid Laurier who argued that the war pitted Canadians against each other. In the subsequent election, Robert Borden was able to convince enough English speaking Liberals to vote for his party. In the Canadian Federal Election of 1917, the Union government won 153 seats, nearly all from English Canada. The Liberals won 82 seats. Although the Union government won a large majority of seats, the Union government won only 3 seats in Quebec.
Of the 120,000 conscripts raised during the war, only 47,000 actually went overseas. Despite this, the rift between French and English-speaking Canadians was indelible and would last for many years to come.
Other articles related to "conscription":
... With the introduction of conscription in January 1916, no further Pals battalions were raised ... Conscription for single men was introduced in January 1916 ... despite its then status as part of the United Kingdom (but see Conscription Crisis of 1918) ...
... Arrière-ban Civil conscription Civilian Public Service Corvée Economic conscription Impressment and the Quota System Indentured servant Involuntary servitude National Service Zivildienst ...
... factory workers opposed the legislation, it was in Quebec, where conscription was most vociferously denounced ... Leading the campaign against conscription was Quebec nationalist Henri Bourassa and Sir Wilfrid Laurier who argued that the war pitted Canadians against each other ...
... 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 ... Canada also had a political dispute over conscription during World War II ...
... Civil conscription is conscription used for forcing people to work in non-military projects ... Civil conscription is used by various governments around the world, among them Greece ... Temporary conscription for payment, typically of taxes, is known as corvée ...
Famous quotes containing the word conscription:
“No Ravens wing can stretch the flight so far
As the torn bandrols of Napoleons war.
Choose then your climate, fix your best abode,
Hell make you deserts and hell bring you blood.
How could you fear a dearth? have not mankind,
Tho slain by millions, millions left behind?
Has not conscription still the power to weild
Her annual faulchion oer the human field?
A faithful harvester!”
—Joel Barlow (17541812)
“We have our difficulties, true; but we are a wiser and a tougher nation than we were in 1932. Never have there been six years of such far flung internal preparedness in all of history. And this has been done without any dictators power to command, without conscription of labor or confiscation of capital, without concentration camps and without a scratch on freedom of speech, freedom of the press or the rest of the Bill of Rights.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945)