Conscientious Objectors

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Who were Absolutists?
COs who were opposed to the war completely and would not complete any work connected with the war.
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Who were Alternativists?
COs who were prepared to complete civilian work as long as they were not under military control.
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Who were Non-Combatants?
COs who were prepared to join the army but refused any weapons training and refused to work with weapons. They could complete work such as being stretcher bearers.
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What were the Types of Conscientious Objectors?
Pacifists (against war in general), Political Objectors (didn't consider the German Government their enemy), Religious Objectors (Quakers, Jehovah's Witnesses).
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Why did People become Conscientious Objectors?
Religious Beliefs, Political Beliefs, Moral Beliefs, Cowardice.
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How did the Public React to Conscientious Objectors?
The public's attitude was similar for both wars - they thought COs were cowards and traitors. Some were physically attacked, sacked from their jobs or found it hard to get work. The public felt they weren't 'doing their bit' and should be ashamed.
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Why were Conscientious Objectors given White Feathers?
White feathers were commonly given to men not serving in the army., usually publicaaly to try and shame and humiliate them into joining the army.
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What was Conscription?
Compulsory enrolement in the armed forces. Everyone of a certain age who was fit and heathy had to fight in war, however those doing work essential to the country were exempt. Anyone refusing to fight was commiting a crime and could be punished.
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When was Conscription Introduced?
WW1: 1916, WW2: April 1939 (men) and December 1941 (women).
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What was the Name of the Pacifist Newspaper Banned by the Government?
The Tribunal.
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How many Men Refused to Fight in WW1?
About 16,000.
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What were the Authoritie's Attitudes During WW1?
Military tribunals decided if a CO as genuine, 400 were given total exemption on the grounds of conscience, Alternativists were given non-combat roles, Absolutists were imprisoned, given brutal treatment and hard labour.
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When were Absolutists given back their Right to Vote?
Five years after the First World War ended.
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How many People Refused to Fight in WW2?
Over 59,000 men and women.
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What were the Authoritie's Attitudes During WW2?
Tribunals judged if a CO was genuine. All except 12,204 were given total or partial exemption. Those with partial exemption were given non-combat roles. A smaller number of those not given exemption were sent to prison, but were treated less harshly.
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How were Tribunals Fairer During WW2?
They were not conducted by military staff and were made up of different classes of men (not just upper class/important men).
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Why were there More Conscientious Objectors in WW2?
WW1 memories meant more people were anti-war. Government attitudes had changed so COs were less likely to be imprisoned. Government made more effort to find COs jobs supporting the war effort, but weren't fighting. Tribunals were fairer.
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How did the Authoritie's Attitudes Change during WW2?
They were more lenient in their treatment towards COs and were reluctant to send them to prison.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Who were Alternativists?

Back

COs who were prepared to complete civilian work as long as they were not under military control.

Card 3

Front

Who were Non-Combatants?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What were the Types of Conscientious Objectors?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why did People become Conscientious Objectors?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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