Thursday, 18 April 2013

King and Conscription

Before Canadian troops were sent overseas to fight in World War Two Mackenzie King had made a promise that there would be no conscription, but what they hadn't anticipated was the number of men that died each day could not be replaced.  Fewer men were willing to sign up to fight and the French Canadians refused to fight in an Imperial war they would stay and defend the Canadian land.  As numbers got dangerously low King was faced with a problem, with the issue of not enough men willing to go and fight he began to fear that he would have to go back on his word that there would be no conscription.  As he toyed with the idea he soon discovered that there would be a divide between English and French Canadians, English Canadians agreed with King in the idea of having a conscription but the French refused King was now caught at a crossroad on what to do.  With the number of men on the front lines decreasing more and more everyday he had to make up his mind and soon.  King finally made up his mind and finalized conscription but to cater to the French Canadians it was a no overseas conscription.  Finally he had come to a decision.  I feel that King was a loyal man not wanting to create the divide knowing how the French felt about going overseas but he also knew he had to do what was best for Canada by agreeing to conscription.  

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if King's actions were an example of loyalty or a way to protect his support bases in both English and French Canada. You never discuss his final decision: conscription for overseas is enacted.