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WWII: An Overview in Moving PicturesWWII: An Overview in Moving PicturesMany Voices, Many StoriesMany Voices, Many StoriesThe Home FrontCritical PerspectivesCritical PerspectivesSee Everything, Hear EverythingSee Everything, Hear Everything
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Mackenzie King and the Conscription Crisis
Excerpt  (3:18) 1991, director: Erna Buffie
In 1940 Mackenzie King implemented a soft form of conscription-the National Resources Mobilization Act-allowing government to draft people into home-front military service. The compromise answered pressure for greater Canadian participation in the war, but accounted for French Canada's opposition to overseas conscription. About 60,000 served as NRMA soldiers, referred to derisively as "zombies."
From the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, Mackenzie King tried to avoid conscription, lest civil war break out in Canada. Most English Canadians thought young men should be sent to fight. Most French Canadians vehemently disagreed. This same division had nearly torn the country apart during the First World War. Now a similar pressure was building. Should conscription be imposed? In spite of delaying tactics, King had to make a decision in the final year of the war. Mackenzie King and the Conscription Crisis combines archival footage with excerpts from The King Chronicles, a dramatic film series written and directed by Donald Brittain. Some scenes contain graphic language.

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Film excerpts
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The first Canadians to enlist in 1939 were motivated by...
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Excerpt (3:22)
Mackenzie King and the Conscription Crisis
1991, director: Erna Buffie
In 1944 the Canadian government finally implemented overseas...
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Excerpt (3:18)
Mackenzie King and the Conscription Crisis
1991, director: Erna Buffie
In 1940 Mackenzie King implemented a soft form of...
View »»