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Introduction

Why were so many Canadians willing to go to war?

In the World War One, Canada deployed over 600 000 soldiers. Approxemately 60 000 of them were killed or wounded. 1 in 10 Canadians never came back from their service in Europe. Why would so many Canadians go overseas and risk their lives? What made hundreds of thousands of Canadians want to serve in the war? One of the biggest reasons for such a big number of Canadians serving overseas is patriotism. Many Canadians wanted to go to war because they felt that they had to serve their country. Another reason is conscription. Towards the end of the war, Canada needed more soldiers, but not enough were volunteering. Therefore, in 1917, Robert Borden called for conscription and pledged 500 000 soldiers. However, after a long battle in politics, only 100 000 were conscripted, and only 24 000 made it to the front. The third biggest reason is hate towards the enemy. Alongside posters encouraging Canadians to enlist, posters depicting German soldiers stabbing babies with bayonets were also put up in order to get Canadians to develop a hatred for the enemy, making them want to do whatever they could to help make sure that enemy was defeated.