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The Institution of Conscription

  • Margaret Levi

Extract

Johnnie get your gun, get your gun, get your gun,

Take it on the run, on the run, on the run,

Hear them calling you and me,

Ev'ry son of liberty.

Hurry right away, no delay, go today,

Make your daddy glad to have had such a lad,

Tell your sweetheart not to pine,

To be proud her boy's in line.

George P. Cohan, “Over There”
The chronicle of mass conscription in modern democracies is the story of the changing relationship between the state and its citizens, and the Great War is one of the major turning points, especially in the Anglo-Saxon democracies.The institution of conscription significantly extends the obligations of male citizens and the reach of the state.

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References

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