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compulsory enrollment of personnel for service in the armed forces. Obligatory service in the armed forces has existed since ancient times in many cultures, including the samuraisamurai
, knights of feudal Japan, retainers of the daimyo. This aristocratic warrior class arose during the 12th-century wars between the Taira and Minamoto clans and was consolidated in the Tokugawa period.
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 in Japan, warriors in the Aztec Empire, citizen militiamen in ancient Greece and Rome, and aristocrats and their peasants or yeomen during the Middle Ages in Europe. In England, compulsory military service was employed on the local level in the Anglo-Saxon fyrd as early as the 9th cent. In the 16th cent. MachiavelliMachiavelli, Niccolò
, 1469–1527, Italian author and statesman, one of the outstanding figures of the Renaissance, b. Florence. Life

A member of the impoverished branch of a distinguished family, he entered (1498) the political service of the
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 argued that every able-bodied man in a nation was a potential soldier and could by means of conscription be required to serve in the armed forces. Conscription in the modern sense of the term dates from 1793, when the Convention of the French Republic raised an army of 300,000 men from the provinces. A few years later, conscription enabled Napoleon INapoleon I
, 1769–1821, emperor of the French, b. Ajaccio, Corsica, known as "the Little Corporal." Early Life

The son of Carlo and Letizia Bonaparte (or Buonaparte; see under Bonaparte, family), young Napoleon was sent (1779) to French military schools at
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 to build his tremendous fighting forces. Following Napoleon's example, Muhammad Ali of Egypt raised a powerful army in the 1830s. Compulsory peacetime recruitment was introduced (1811–12) by Prussia. Mass armies, raised at little cost by conscription, completely changed the scale of battle by the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The institution of conscription, which was increasingly justified by statesmen on grounds of national defense and economic stimulation, spread to other European nations and Japan in the 19th cent. At the outbreak of World War I, Great Britain adopted conscription and used it again in World War II; it was abolished in 1962. Though little used in the United States prior to the Civil War, conscription was used by both sides in that war and in most large-scale U.S. wars since, often with great controversy. Most of the important military powers of the 20th cent. have used conscription to raise their armed forces. China, because of its large population, has a policy of selective conscription. Impressmentimpressment,
forcible enrollment of recruits for military duty. Before the establishment of conscription, many countries supplemented their militia and mercenary troops by impressment.
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 is the forcible mustering of recruits. It lacks the scope and bureaucratic form of conscription. Many countries throughout the world, such as Israel, have mandatory military service; a few allow for alternate civilian service or release for conscientious objectorsconscientious objector,
person who, on the grounds of conscience, resists the authority of the state to compel military service. Such resistance, emerging in time of war, may be based on membership in a pacifistic religious sect, such as the Society of Friends (Quakers), the
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. See also selective serviceselective service,
in U.S. history, term for conscription.

Conscription was established (1863) in the U.S. Civil War, but proved unpopular (see draft riots). The law authorized release from service to anyone who furnished a substitute and, at first, to those who paid $300.
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a method of troop recruitment based on universal military service. This system was in force in France in the late 18th century and the 19th.

During the French Revolution the Convention decreed in August 1793 the compulsory mass levy into the army of all Frenchmen between the ages of 18 and 40, the first places to be filled by bachelors and childless men between the ages of 18 and 25. In 1798 a universal six-year military obligation became the law in France under the name of conscription. Originally military service was considered an inescapable personal responsibility, and no one could take anyone else’s place. But by 1800 provisions were made to make the system less strict so that replacements could serve for the conscripts and exemptions could be bought. Military service thus became obligatory but not personal. Conscription was in effect in France until 1872 and in Russia (only for residents of Poland) from 1815 to 1874. In the second half of the 19th century conscription was replaced by universal military service.


References in periodicals archive ?
Borden obtained the agreement of Laurier's Liberals to extend the life of Parliament for one year with the understanding that there would be no military conscription. It was hoped that the war would be over in a year and the country faced a polarization over the issue.
SPEAKING to America's war veterans many of them believe the country's domestic problems could be solved by the return of military conscription.
As with the Christian Faith, military duty consists of "endurance under crisis in what one had reasoned beforehand." And yes, I consistently and actively condemned military conscription for the same reason that Shakespeare's Henry V did before Agincourt.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- In an attempt to prevent a shortage of soldiers due to a reduced duration of compulsory military service from 15 to 12 months, the Ministry of Defense and the Interior Ministry are going to track down those evading military conscription.
For in- stance, Lee is currently serving his compulsory military conscription in South Korea, where relations with its sabre-rattling neighbor are at a new low.
Surat, Apr 3 ( ANI ): Following in Mahatma Gandhi's footsteps, American citizens undertook a peace walk here with the objective of highlighting their opposition to military conscription in America.
Playwright Nassim Soleimanpour takes the possibilities of theatre to another level by using his script to travel the world, and using his words to touch the lives of people from all walks of life, despite being prevented from travelling abroad by Iran's strict enforcement of military conscription, which he has refused to conform to.
VIENNA -- Austrians opted by a large margin Sunday to retain military conscription, bucking a European trend since the end of the Cold War of scrapping the draft.
The national term of military conscription service has been set at 21 months for this Persian year, down from 24 months last year.
The Peace and Justice Committee of Kern Road Mennonite Church in South Bend, Indiana, published twenty-two oral histories of congregational members who performed alternative service in lieu of military conscription, from World War II through the mid-1970s.
The trafficking of human beings for harvesting organs, sex and labor slavery, forced military conscription, begging, and adoptions presents a formidable challenge in the arena of global justice.
Vietnam: The prime Minister of Vietnam has signed an order on eligibility for military conscription, at a time of high maritime tension with China, the official army newspaper reported Tuesday.

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