Conscription in ww1

Essay by missme123Junior High, 9th gradeA-, June 2008

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History essay:“Were Australians against the introduction of conscription during WW1?”As the war was happening people back home in Australia were starting to realise that the war was not as much about bravery and pride as they originally thought because very few men were returning, but the government needed young healthy men because of the amount of men on the front line dying and they needed to be replaced.

Australian men weren’t volunteering so in November 1917 prime minister, Billy Hughes wanted to introduce conscription to Australia and ask the people ‘are you in favour of the proposal of the commonwealth government for reinstating the Australian imperial forces overseas?’ Conscription was like the lottery, you would be randomly chosen to go to war because of the day that you were born. Australians were given the opportunity to vote for or against conscription and campaigns were made to support each point of view.

Two referendums were held, the first on the 28th of October 1916 and the second on the 10th of December 1917, both referendums were lost, the second showed 1181747 votes against and 1015159 votes for conscription.

Two referendums were held because men kept dying on the front line and the government were getting desperate. Both referendums ended with majority ‘no’ votes, the first with 72446 votes against and the second with 1181747 votes against. Women were the main target for pro and anti conscription campaigns because they were seen as weak fragile and sensitive. Propaganda was largely aimed at women to intimidate women and target their emotions, either to make them feel like they were sending their husbands and sons to die or that it was their duty to send them to fight for their country.

It was a hard decision deciding whether or not...