3 The Conscription Crisis (1917) in World War One Key points. Canada and the warThe War Measures Act (1914)RecruitmentMilitia Act (1916)ConscriptionWar Voters ActReaction in QuebecSummaryVSWilfrid LaurierRobert BordenQuebec Premier Henri Bourassa
4 Canadian Prime Minister Canada’s Entry into WW1Dominion: MeaningRobert Borden declared that "when Great Britain is at war, Canada is at war, and there is no difference at all."His Promise, Dec. 1914Canadian Prime MinisterRobert Borden
5 Borden Introduces The War Measures Act (1914) The War Measures Act of gave the government the authority to do anything necessary or advisable for the security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada.
6 Canada Responds to Britain’s Call to Arms At the beginning of the war Canadian army totaled 3110 regular soldiers.Within two months, it totaled over 32,000 men.Recruitment slogans were initially effective in drawing in recruits.-‘FIGHT FOR THE EMPIRE’-‘WE’LL BE HOME BY CHRISTMAS!’
11 Canadians Were Answering the Call 312,000 men enlisted by the end of 1916.However, this amount was significantly less than Borden’s pledge to the British that he would provide over 500,000 for the war effort.
16 Borden introduces conscription in 1917 despite enlistment propaganda. Single men aged were required to enlist or face imprisonment.Other nations’ volunteersBritain: over 2.5 million in the first year.Germany: approx. 500,000 earlyFrance: nearly 200,000 by wars ends.What does this tell us?
17 The Military Service Act (1917) In order to meet conscription expectations of 100,000 men, Borden introduced Military Service Act.Exceptions to enlistment, however, were common. (farmers)Military Service act Revoked in April, 1917 to prevent exemptions. Farms henceforth were understaffed.Farmers were furious! Ramifications: United Famers of Alberta and soil degradation decades later.
18 Pro Conscription Poster Extending the VoteIn order to get the votes he needed, Borden passed two new acts:Military Voters Act Law that extended the right to vote to all men and women in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.War-time Elections Act Law which extended the right to vote to the mothers, wives, and sisters of the soldiers serving, while at the same time refusing that right to citizens from enemy countries.Pro Conscription Poster
19 Conscription in Quebec All 53 Quebec MPs voted against Military Service ActThe recruiting effort in Quebec had failed. There was no loyalty to Britain nor France. Ties broken long ago.No room for advancement or to practice French cultureQuebec was rural farmland and needed its populationHenri Bourassa
20 Wilfrid Laurier opposed conscription from the beginning of the war. Believed conscription would lead Quebec towards a dangerous nationalism under Bourassa and lead to Quebec Separatism.French Canadians were 30% of population, but made up 4% of enlistees.Wilfrid Laurier
22 1917 Canadian ElectionPM Borden called a federal election on the issue of Conscription in In order to get the votes he needed, Borden passed two new acts:Military Voters Act Law that extended the right to vote to all men and women in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.War-time Elections Act Law which extended the right to vote to the mothers, wives, and sisters of the soldiers serving, while at the same time refusing that right to citizens from enemy countries.
23 Conscription and Election of 1917 Divide French/English Canada. Riot in Quebec City, April 1918 – English soldiers from Ottawa kill 4 civilians
24 The End Result of Conscription 100,000? Only 25,000 made it to the front in EuropeBitterly Divided Canada. English thought the French were cowardly.Pressure to enlist greater in English Canada. (white feathers)Legacy of English vs. French Canadian interpretation of WWI (Vimy Vs. Conscription)Conscripted Troops arrive inEurope in 1918 when war ends