How did the conscription debate divided Australian society?

How did the conscription debate divided Australian society?

The conscription debate divided Australian’s to the extent that Australian’s became unsure and were practically halved on the issue of conscription during the 1916 and 1917 referendums.

Why was there a conscription debate in Australia?

At the outbreak of the war, many men volunteered to enlist in the newly formed Australian Imperial Force (AIF) to serve overseas. A government policy for conscription would have forced eligible Australian men into military service overseas with the AIF.

Why did Billy Hughes want conscription?

On his return to Australia, he declared his view that conscription was needed to supply the Australian forces with a sufficient number of soldiers. Opposition to his proposal from within the governing Labor Party led Hughes to propose a plebiscite to decide the issue.

What was the reason for the conscription debates that were held in Australia in 1916 17?

The 1916 Australian referendum on compulsory military service was held on 28 October 1916. It was the first non-binding Australian referendum, and contained one question. This referendum was held due to Prime Minister Billy Hughes’s desire to conscript young Australian men for overseas service during World War I.

Why should conscription not be allowed?

Conscription not only drills men’s bodies, but their minds. It makes them obedient to authority, whether right or wrong; takes away their power to think originally; makes them expert with guns, and there- fore, eager to use them; and gives them a hatred of independent thought and contempt for human life.

What were the reasons for conscription?

Conscription merely serves to have convenient cannon fodder for imminent war. Governments should instead work on cutting military spending and provide their citizens with basic necessities such as healthcare, housing and food. Such is the benefit of the so-called ‘peace dividend.

Who was for and against conscription in ww1?

The 1917 conscription debate was one of the fiercest and most divisive in Canadian political history. French-Canadians, as well as many farmers, unionized workers, non-British immigrants, and other Canadians, generally opposed the measure.

How did conscription affect Australia?

At the outbreak of the First World War, the number of people volunteering to enlist for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) was so high that recruitment officers were forced to turn people away. As the war went on, casualty rates increased and the number of volunteers declined. By 1916 the AIF faced a shortage of men.

Why did the government introduce conscription?

The government saw no alternative but to increase numbers by conscription – compulsory active service. Parliament was deeply divided but recognised that because of the imminent collapse of the morale of the French army, immediate action was essential. In January 1916 the Military Service Act was passed.

What happened to German influence in Australia?

Germans lost their jobs or had their business destroyed. Some voluntarily went into camps so their wives and children could survive on a government allowance. In other changes that affected Germans living in Australia their: schools and churches were closed.

Why was the conscription necessary?

Conscription was necessary because it was needed to win the war. With the lack of men in the battlefield, the front would not be able to hold off German attacks. They would not be able to replace the wounded or dead soldiers and as a result they will lose their positions (ref.

Why did Australia introduce conscription ww1?

First referendum defeated Labor Prime Minister Billy Hughes reached the conclusion that conscription would be necessary to raise the required number of reinforcements.

How did the debate around conscription divide the community?

The debate surrounding conscription divided the nation, especially in Queensland where the Labor Government of T J Ryan stood alone in opposing it. Campaigns leading up to the conscription referendum divided the community, as opposing groups presented their views in public meetings, marches and the press.

Why was conscription not introduced in Australia during the war?

The “no” party had posters saying that Australia has already done enough for the war and that conscription would lead to their death. After the weeks of campaigning the votes were finally up and the Australians voted “no” so conscription was not introduced.

How did the anti-conscriptionists divide Australian society?

Conscription divided Australian society. One tactic from the anti-conscriptionists was to ask the opinion of Nathaniel Jacka, father of three sons- all serving in France – including Australia’s best known soldier, Victoria Cross winner, Lieutenant Albert Jacka.

Who could vote in a conscription referendum in Australia?

The Australian Government would ask the people of Australia to vote in a referendum to introduce a conscription policy. Compulsory voting in referendums had been introduced in 1915. Eligible voters at that time included most men and women aged 21 and over. First Australians, who were not given the right to vote until 1949, were ineligible.