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Canadian Reinforcements Raised

Type: Document

During the year 1813, Britain's attention was focused on its fight against Napoleon's troops in Spain. There were limited reinforcements available for North America. To help strengthen the colonies' defences, many units were raised from Canadian volunteers and conscripts.

Site: National Defence

Manpower Problems of the Canadian Army During the Second World War

Type: Document

This report attempts to describe how the Canadian Army made use of its manpower pool during the Second World War. First there was the question of whether men and women could serve their country best by by joining the Armed Forces, taking jobs in rapidly-expanding industries, or remaining in agricultural production. And then, were the services of those who enlisted in the Canadian forces employed to the best advantage?

Site: National Defence

An Army for Lower Canada

Type: Document

Faced with a threat of war in 1812, the British authorities raised a small army of troops in Lower Canada. A volunteer regiment of Light Infantry, the famous Canadian Voltigeurs, was backed by four conscripted battalions of Lower Canada Select Embodied Militia.

Site: National Defence

The Manpower Crisis and Conscription

Type: Document

As Canada's overseas force had been mostly composed of volunteers, the heavy casualties in Europe created a recruiting crisis in Canada. A referendum in 1942 over possible conscription had been won by the government, but clearly showed the opposition of French Canadians. In November 1944, the decision to send small numbers of conscripts overseas had political repercussions in Canada.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Militia Demobilized

Type: Document

In 1776, the arrival of General Burgoyne's British army in Canada meant there was less need for Canadian militia companies and they were disbanded. Governor Carleton had difficulty raising three new companies to act as auxiliaries to Burgoyne's force.

Site: National Defence

Political Divisions

Type: Document

The difference of opinions between the Francophone and Anglophone communities on supporting the war lead to the 1917 conscription crisis and the formation of a Union government. While there was remarkable industrial expansion during the war, Canada emerged from the war with a divided people.

Site: National Defence

Conscription Proposals and Recruiting Problems

Type: Document

From 1868 to 1873 there were attempts made to introduce conscription for the militia. These proposals were defeated due to the lack of an external threat to motivate politicians, as well as the difficulty in being accepted by Canadian as a whole.

Site: National Defence

Rejection of Volunteers

Type: Document

Canada's white-led army discriminated against recruits from visible minority groups. Aboriginals, blacks and Japanese were discouraged from joining the 'white man’s war'. However, when the manpower crisis emerged in 1917, these same communities were reluctant to volunteer when the restrictions were lifted. Only 5,100 visible minority members volunteered for service during the war.

Site: National Defence

Taking of Conscription Plebiscite for Canadian Forces Overseas

Type: Document

In 1939, previous to the outbreak of World War II, the major political parties of Canada committed themselves to a policy of no conscription for overseas service in any future war. When fighting during the Second World War increased, it was decided that conscription might again be necessary and a vote was held to allow Canadians to decide whether or not to bring it back. This report discusses this vote.

Site: National Defence

The Establishment of a Canadian Militia

Type: Document

In 1669, King Louis XIV ordered Governor de Courcelles to create a militia from the Canadian settlers. Governor Frontenac did much work after his appointment in 1672 to organize the institution in each parish within the colony.

Site: National Defence