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military Draft

conscription service war world

Draft, military, or conscription, system of raising armed forces by compulsory recruitment. The modern practice is more aptly described as selective service. Obligatory military service dates back to ancient times, but modern conscription began in the late 18th century when Napoleon I imposed universal conscription of able- bodied males. Peacetime conscription became standard practice in Europe in the 19th century, except in Britain, where it was not imposed until just prior to World War II (wartime conscription was practiced in both Britain and the United States during World War I). During the Civil War both North and South used conscription. In the United States peacetime conscription was first introduced in 1940 and, though dropped briefly in 1947, continued through to 1973 to meet the demands of the Korean and Vietnamese commitments. Conscription has frequently given rise to civil protest. During Lyndon Johnson's presidency (1963–69), antidraft demonstrations became a popular form of protest against military involvement in Vietnam. In June 1980 President Jimmy Carter reinstated the Selective Service System, which had been in a “standby” position since the start of the All Volunteer Force in 1973. U.S. males born in 1960 or later and at least 18, including citizens, resident aliens, and conditional entrants to the country, are required to register with the service through the post office. In Israel the draft is applied to unmarried women as well as to men.

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