Conscription During World War One By Robert Borden

843 Words4 Pages

World War I had been a very hard time for Canada and all the soldiers involved in it. It was difficult to keep a steady stream of new soldiers, so numbers were very low. This is why Robert Borden, the prime minister of Canada at the time, decided it was only right to introduce conscription to Canada. This decision had both negative and positive impacts on Canada. Conscription benefitted the soldiers, and Canada’s army, at war, and helped women gain independence and some rights, but the conscription had an extremely negative impact on Farmers.

At the beginning of World War I, many soldiers were joining the forces to fight for their country, but as the war dragged on, less soldiers why joining the army, and Canada was running short. This is …show more content…

One of these negatives are the impacts on farmers. The farmers during World War I had it very hard to begin with, and with conscription coming into play, it only made it harder. The first way conscription negatively impacted farmers was the young sons of the farmers were being sent to war, making it harder for the family to run the farm. Sometimes, if the farmers themselves were below the age of 45, they were sent off to war too. This would later cause some families to go out of business and have to get rid of their farms (Recruitment and Conscription - Conscription, 1917). Another reason that conscription had a negative impact on farmers was because they were lied to. At first, the farmers did not agree with Borden and were anti-conscription, but Borden then promised farmers, their sons, and conscientious objectors, exemptions. After the Borden Government won the election, Borden then went against his word and did not give farmers or anyone exemptions (1917 Election - Conscription). Lastly, conscription also had an impact on kids/teenagers. Since the farm labour was running short, farmers were forced to call on kids, and teenagers for help. Not paid work, but voluntary. Child labour of course is not good, but the farmers had no choice. The children were sometimes held back from education to help out on farms. These young recruits received exemption from class and final exams (Farming and Food).

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