Saturday, August 17, 2019

Impressment of British Men and the Draft of the Vietnam War Essay

In this paper, I would briefly discuss the Impressment of British Men and the Draft of Vietnam War. I would present the similarities and differences of the two eras in answering the question â€Å"How are the two eras of Impressment of British Men and Draft of Vietnam wars can be compared and contrast? † In addition, I would also try to present some argument regarding these era. Impressment is defined as the enforcement of fitted but unwilling men through crude and violent methods (Britannica Corporate Site, 2007) or forcibly inducting men into military service or in navy. (Politics and Public Service Impressment, 2005) Impressment is more common on navy than on military service. Physically fitted men were forced to serve on ships to fill the crew complement and on military in times of conflict. Conditions in European navy and military were very hard were the navy and military men experience scarcity of food, brutal punishment, different diseases and homesickness. These conditions resulted to impressments of men because only few volunteer in enlistments and they really need manpower. And most of the times, men at ages 18-55 were in danger of this practice. Impressment goes this way. Strong sailors formed a press gang. It is usually headed by a ship officer who chose strong and ruthless crew. They were armed with sly tongues and clubs. They would wait for other ships where they first offer employment to sailors as an attempt to make them come willingly. If they don’t want to come, this is where they forced them. They grab men and experienced sailors to impressed forcing them on board the ship. Their targets are mostly poor and criminals, those who have least social power over them. (Alternative Canadian Heritage Moments) Some of the men seized by the press gang chose to jump off and leave the British ship. They choose to come to the American merchant marine who offers better pay and more comfortable positions and adopt also the American citizenship. British navy targeted the British deserters and searched any ship including the American ship. Supposedly, impressment should only be for British men. However, sailors from other nations, particularly in America were also seized because they look similarly to British men in appearance, clothing or language. (War of 1812) British men stop their ships at sea and since they were unable to get enough men, they wouldn’t believe any document as proof of their citizenship. (Smith, 2007) Once a man was impressed, he was offered choices of whether he would sign as volunteer and receive benefits and salary or just remain as pressed man and receive nothing at all. (Royal Naval Museum Library, 2001). The impressment of American by the British men is considered as violations to America’s sovereignty and maritime rights. Because of this, the Americans were really offended which resulted to war they declared against Britain on June 1812. At that time, British were engaged in the war with the Napoleonic Empire so they did not give that much attention to the United States complaints even after the declaration of war against them. But after taking some considerations they formed First Nations allies and campaigns to protect Canada. The allies and Canadian military worked together to stop the American invasion even if they are inexperienced in this field. (War of 1812) The practice of impressment in Britain was last used in 1803-1815 during the Napoleonic wars but the right of using it still retained. By the year 1853, some changes were made like giving a pension for the sailors who continuously served in the navy for a certain number of years. The changes made reduced the need of impressments until it died out the form it used to be since many men would volunteer already. (Royal Naval Museum Library, 2001) Drafting of men during Vietnam War or what we call conscription is similar in impressments of British men during the Napoleonic war. Conscription means the same as impressment which is forced service to the military force or any institution with established authority. So they are similar in the sense that the physically-abled and fitted men are forced to do serve in the military service. About 2. 2 million of approximately 8. 6 million men and 250,000 women who served the military during the Vietnam War era were drafted. In contrast to the Impressment where their way of avoiding it is escaping, the draftees could avoid the draft resistance by deferment, exemption or medical disqualification. (Seely) These two eras are also different in the process of getting unwilling men involved into military service. In Vietnam War, the draftees were chosen in deferment system in 1792 until it was changed into a â€Å"lottery† manner in 1863. The remarkable date of the first draft lottery is on December 1, 1969. This is a way of United States of drafting young men to fight the war in Vietnam. There are 366 capsules representing each day of the year. Inside the capsules were pieces of papers were draftee’s birthday whose age ranges from 18 to 26 is written. The birthdays are between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950. The drawing of these capsules is shown to the national television and broadcast on radios. Capsules were drawn one by one and the dates drawn were assigned a certain number depending on the order respectively. (CNN Perspective Series) The draftees were then called for duty still according to order that they were drawn until the number needed for military manpower is reached. Draftees would then undergo screening before they could actually be sent to Vietnam. Some might be rejected because of their physical and mental fitness or legal grounds such as conviction to crimes. (CNN Perspective Series) Still, because of draftees mass armies were raised at little cost and sustained the military force. But then discrimination was rampant making the draft controversial. This is obvious when the working class and the rich could pay money for $300 to avoid being drafted. (Gill, 2005) During the Vietnam War, the draft prepared can easily be tapped by the authority and send to war. That is why the war lasted for almost ten years. (Jahnkow, 2007) This conscription in United States ended in 1973 when Vietnam War ended and political oppositions to the draft started to progress. From getting draftees, military became a volunteer force when the US Congress abolished the draft. (Friedman, 2006). The issue of draft or constriction or impressments remains debatable between an individual concern and a national society security concern. When we practice democracy of choosing what you want, we cannot deny the fact that the manpower needed by the military forces of the nation is not enough and volunteer enlistment remains low. Others argue that one who enjoys the security offered by the country’s army forces owe not only their property but their service to the nation. Many people who talk about renewing and bringing back the draft believes that the US armed forces need more members to serve and defend the country. (Gill, 2005) On the other hand, some argue that a military group or army consists of volunteer citizens would be a more effective armed force. Since they volunteer their dedications to work can be expected. There is also a big probability that they will stay in the service for a long time. The time supposedly be used in constriction would then be used in practicing and developing military skills. Moreover, there is less morale problems. (Friedman, 2006) Some say there’s no more need of draft because of the technologies used in wars today. The military needs professionals and not just men who have combat skills. Another argument is that of expanding the reserve corps and activating them in times of conflicts rather than recruiting through constriction. At least, reserve corps was trained with the military skills needed for an effective troupe, something that a draft could not provide. Generalizing the research I’ve made regarding the two eras of Impressment of British men and the Draft of Vietnam War, I guess history would repeat itself if in the present the legislators will consider reviving the draft or impressment for the armed forces. Let’s say they approved draft or impressment, there will also be protests, rallies and riots from the people to stop it. This would mean another conflict within the country. And more lives will be sacrificed for this matter. Taking into consideration the national security concern on the other hand, we can also see the need of recruiting and getting more men involve in the military and armed forces. But as some people are saying, there could be a better way of doing it so than renewing the draft and impressment practices of the 1700s. With this I want to quote Rich Janhkow, a member of Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft, in the article he wrote Muddled Thinking About Conscription. He said, â€Å"People who are now advocating a draft need to be challenged to look more carefully at the facts and consider the full, global implications of what they are proposing. Otherwise, they may eventually get what they are asking for, which would come back to haunt us all† (Jahnkow, 2007). Bibliography Alternative Canadian Heritage Moments. (n. d. ). Retrieved August 27, 2007, from Alternative Heritage Moments Project: http://www. opirg-carleton. org/alt-khm/ pmwiki/pmwiki. php/Main/Impressment Britannica Corporate Site. (2007). Retrieved August 26, 2007, from ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE: http://www. britannica. com/eb/article-9042221/impressment CNN Perspective Series. (n. d. ). Retrieved August 27, 2007, from CNN interactive: http://www. cnn. com/SPECIALS/cold. war/episodes/13/the. draft/ Friedman, G. (2006, November 21). A Fresh Look at the Draft. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from STRATFOR: https://www. stratfor. com/offers/061109-MCA/280234. php? ref=061109-MCA&camp=06 Gill, K. (2005, June 27). US Politics. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from Military Conscriptin, Recruiting and The Draft: http://uspolitics. about. com/od/electionissues/a/draft. htm Jahnkow, R. (2007, January 21). ZNET. Retrieved August 28, 2007, from Muddled Thinking About Conscription: http://www. zmag. org/content/showarticle. cfm? SectionID=51&ItemID=11909 Politics and Public Service Impressment. (2005). Retrieved August 26, 2007, from us history. com: http://www. u-s-history. com/pages/h456. html Royal Naval Museum Library. (2001). Retrieved August 27, 2007, from Royal Naval Museum: http://www. royalnavalmuseum. org/info_sheet_impressment. htm Seely, R. A. (n. d. ). A Further Flight. Retrieved August 27, 2007, from givewings. com: http://www. givewings. com/writings/essays_on_war/vietnam. html Smith, S. (2007). wiseGEEK. Retrieved August 27, 2007, from Conjecture Corporation: http://www. wisegeek. com/what-is-impressment. htm War of 1812. (n. d. ). Retrieved August 27, 2007, from galafilm: http://www. galafilm. com/1812/e/background/brit_impress. html.

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