Compulsory enrollment for service in a country's armed forces. It has existed at least since the Egyptian Old Kingdom in the 27th century BC. It usually takes the form of selective service rather than universal conscription. (The latter generally refers to compulsory military service by all able-bodied men between certain ages, though a few countries—notably Israel—have also drafted women.) In the 19th century Prussia's system of building up a large standing army through conscription became the model for competing European powers. During the American Civil War both the federal government and the Confederacy instituted a draft, but the U.S. did not use it again until entering World War I in 1917. Like the U.S., Britain abandoned conscription at the end of World War I but reverted to it when World War II threatened. During the ensuing Cold War, Britain retained the draft until 1960 and the U.S. until 1973. Seealso U.S. Army.
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"Help Us to Secure a Strong, Healthy, Prosperous and Peaceful Britain": The Social Arguments of the Campaign for Compulsory Military Service in Britain, 1899-1914
Aug 01, 1995; Those who promoted compulsory military service in Britain between 1899-1914 were in a most uncomfortable position. Of all the...
AN ARMY OF ONE AND ALL; Young Americans are worried about the return of the draft. In Israel, compulsory military service has been a fact of life for 50 years. Israelis have learned to stop worrying and love the draft. Can Americans?
Oct 21, 2004; There are two choices of free sandwiches at Bakum, the central military base near Tel Aviv where all Israeli draftees are...