What is conscription?


Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–3 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.

Read more about Conscription.

Some articles on conscription:

Canada In World War I - Home Front - Conscription
... 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 ...
British Army During World War I - Recruitment and 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) ...
Civil Conscription
... 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 ...
Conscription - Related Concepts
... Arrière-ban Civil conscription Civilian Public Service Corvée Economic conscription Impressment and the Quota System Indentured servant Involuntary servitude National ...
Army History - History - Late Modern
... 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 ... Canada also had a political dispute over conscription during World War II ...

Famous quotes containing the word conscription:

    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 dictator’s 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 (1882–1945)

    No Raven’s wing can stretch the flight so far
    As the torn bandrols of Napoleon’s war.
    Choose then your climate, fix your best abode,
    He’ll make you deserts and he’ll 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 o’er the human field?
    A faithful harvester!
    Joel Barlow (1754–1812)