Conscription In Australia Essay

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Approaching the end of the 1915, Australian experienced a leadership change. The prime minister at that time, William Hughes was a support of Conscription. Conscription means a compulsory enlistment for state service, typically into the armed forces ( the army ). However, the majority of people in the Labor Party did not support conscription and therefore caused conflict. While some were patriotic and wanted to help to fight for their country, others thought it was a waste of lives and that war was stupid. Among the people who went to war, many of them fought and returned home. Some strongly believed that conscription was needed in order to maintain full strength on the battlefields. One of the main reason that triggered conscription was that…show more content…
Everyone had their own opinions on the breakout of this war. Not long after, it was very obvious that the nation had split evenly into half. Half supporting conscription and half against it. The first referendum on conscription was lost only by 72476 votes. ( 1087557 yes and 116033 no). The defeat of the referendum led to a major split in the Labor Party. Hughes and a few others formed a new political party called the National Labor Party. The National Labor Party and the Liberals conjoined. They contested the May 1917 elections calling itself the “ Win the War” party, forming the Nationalist Party, and obviously with the Liberals support, they won easily. Shortly after, Hughes returned the being the Prime Minister. The Australian Labor party was left in an absolute powerless position. War kept on going, and the enlistment rates continued to decrease. Around 450recruits per month were joining the AIF ( Australian Imperial Forces). Hughes was hoping that at least 16000 men were recruited per month. He asked “ Why should able-bodied Australians be allowed to live in comfort while many of their country men are fighting and dying in France?! “ He decided to hold a second
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