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WWI, Conscription, and a National Crisis

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Presentation on theme: "WWI, Conscription, and a National Crisis"— Presentation transcript:

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2 WWI, Conscription, and a National Crisis

3 The Conscription Crisis (1917) in World War One Key points.
Canada and the war The War Measures Act (1914) Recruitment Militia Act (1916) Conscription War Voters Act Reaction in Quebec Summary VS Wilfrid Laurier Robert Borden Quebec Premier Henri Bourassa

4 Canadian Prime Minister
Canada’s Entry into WW1 Dominion: Meaning Robert Borden declared that "when Great Britain is at war, Canada is at war, and there is no difference at all." His Promise, Dec. 1914 Canadian Prime Minister Robert 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!’

7 Propaganda  Food Will Win the War. 

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9 Canada quickly learned of the realities of war
The Somme “Blood Bath” High loss of life Allied POWs Gas attacks German U-Boats Cramped conditions and disease

10 Xenophobia = 8,579 enemy aliens interned.
Calgary, 1916

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.

12 Month (1917) Recruits Enrolled Killed or Injured
January February March April (Vimy) May June July August September October November (Passchendaele) December

13 Enrollment drops significantly and propaganda increases.
Were these effective? Would you enlist?

14 France’s Propaganda

15 Explain this?

16 Borden introduces conscription in 1917 despite enlistment propaganda.
Single men aged were required to enlist or face imprisonment. Other nations’ volunteers Britain: over 2.5 million in the first year. Germany: approx. 500,000 early France: 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 Vote 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. Pro Conscription Poster

19 Conscription in Quebec
All 53 Quebec MPs voted against Military Service Act The 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 culture Quebec was rural farmland and needed its population Henri 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

21 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cu7Jy2gDBg

22 1917 Canadian Election PM 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 Europe Bitterly 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 in Europe in 1918 when war ends


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