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Conscription Crisis Of 1917 Essay, Research Paper

The year 1917, was a time of worry and despair. As there was not enough people in Europe to fight in the war. Ideas of conscription floated through the minds of members of Parliament.

Before WW1 began, the French and the English were already having disagreements over Regulation 17, which was introduced by the Ontario Department of Education in 1913. The French felt they were having their rights taken away and that the English were being strongly favoured.

Many French Canadians were beginning to have serious doubts about the need to go and fight against the “Prussians” Tempers flared at both ends of the school debate. An angry Henri Bourassa declared that the real war was not in Euope but in Ontario. The bitterness towards the English weakened support for the war in Quebec.

Men were desparately needed on the battlefield. Prime Minister Robert Borden travelled to Europe to see for himself how the war was going. He knew that there was no way Canada would survive the ewar unless he could get more soldiers.

On May 18, 1917, Borden stood up in the House of Commons and announced a new policy of conscription. “All citizens are liable for the defense of their counrty. And I conceive that the battle for Canadian liberty is being fought on the plains of New France and Belgium.”

The year 1917 was a year of worry and despair. Ideas of conscription flowed through the minds of members of Parliament. To most Canadians, anything but complete dedication was unthinkable but not all Canadians reacted in the same matter.


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