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Many C. There were some men in CPS who found the program intensely frustrating. How could digging ditches or blowing up tree stumps be considered "work of national importance"? Often these men ended up walking out of CPS and going to prison instead. Click here for images from CPS camps. The I-W program [called "one-w"; the first digit is a roman numeral, not the number 1 or the letter I] became official in July , and it made a wide variety of service opportunities open to draftees.

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A number of farmers were assigned to dairy or experimental farms. Brethren Service arranged opportunities in relief and welfare work in Europe, and the Mennonites created PAX service, which employed C. By the summer of Selective Service had approved more than institutions and agencies for I-W service, with over men enrolled. Overall, the Mennonites and Brethren were quite happy with the programs.

Many of these C. Of the nearly 10, I-W men from , only about 25 men left their jobs without authorization; of them, 20 were Jehovah's Witnesses. Vietnam War The Vietnam War, as it is popularly called although war was never officially declared by the United States, produced a very organized network of draft resisters and supporters [for more information about the history of the Vietnam War, click here ]. Whatever the reason, a sizable contingent of young men declared that this armed conflict at least had no claim on them.

During this time, draft counseling services expanded sizably, and groups were formed all over the country to provide support for draft resisters. As dissent spread, it polarized new constituencies among professionals, civil rights groups, and women's organizations.

Massive anti-war rallies were held, as well as rallies in which hundreds of young men turned in or burned their draft cards. GI resister groups spread, so that dissent was coming from the armed forces as well as those not yet in the military. The language of the conscription law had specifically excluded the C. It also excluded selective objection, those whose objection was based on the specific war involved rather than on long-standing religious pacifism. This held true until , when the Supreme Court ruled that C. Nearly , illegally evaded the draft; about , were formally accused of draft offenses.

Between 30, and 50, fled to Canada; another 20, fled to other countries or lived underground in America. Conscription stopped three years before U. President Nixon thought that ending the draft would end the massive opposition to that war, but in this he erred.

Draft registration was reinstituted in July ; from then until , over , men refused or failed to register. Twenty persons were prosecuted for not registering from through Students who did not register generally could not receive federal student loans, grants or work-study money; some states also denied educational financial aid.


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After , no new cases were brought against non-registrants, and draft registration became almost a non-issue, until the Persian Gulf War. By the time the war was launched against Iraq in Jan. In Nov. The cease-fire came in March , by which time about 2, soldiers had sought C. Since then, an era of fear has arisen, with much concern, among those who long for peace, over the loss of civil liberties, the build-up of national weapons systems, and the institution of such government efforts as the new Department of Homeland Security.

At this time Feb. Though a great many peace groups and thousands of pacifists have been vocal in expressing their opposition to war, it seems unlikely that it is having much effect on the President and Congress. Historic Peace Churches The roots of the historic peace churches began during the Reformation, where Christians were renewing a voluntary faith as opposed to state-sponsored religion that included nonparticipation in warfare. Primary among them were the Anabaptists dating from in Switzerland. The Mennonites -- named after Dutch priest Menno Simons who joined the movement in -- survive to the present, in spite of much persecution, and even martyrdom by Catholic and Protestant states throughout Europe in the first centuries of their existence.

Fleeing Europe to escape this treatment, many responded to William Penn's invitation to join the migration to America where they could live in peace without being subjected to military service. Many Mennonites have come in subsequent years to the United States and Canada for similar reasons, especially from Russia and Prussia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Amish began in Europe in the late s as a protest against the Mennonites in Germany and Switzerland for their perceived failure to relinquish practices that would separate them more clearly from the world and the state.

They began arriving in America in the s where they settled into tight-knit, mostly agricultural, communities where they could retain their separatist way of life and their pacifism. During the midth century, George Fox led a pacifist-oriented movement against what he saw as the compromises of the Protestant majority in England, which became known as the Religious Society of Friends Quakers.

Al Keim writes in his book The Politics of Conscience : "The Quaker objection to war was based as much on feeling and intuition as it was on rational arguments or scriptural authority.

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Fox stressed the 'Light Within' -- something not quite the same as conscience but rather 'that which shines into conscience. A third pacifist group to survive until today is the Church of the Brethren, founded in in the German village of Schwarzenau. It was led by Alexander Mack who also sought to bring the church back to its roots in early Christianity. Leavenworth U. Disciplinary Barracks, many suffering persecution, manacling, and solitary confinement. Most C. Of the men who registered for the draft, there were 72, who applied for conscientious objector status.

Of those, 25, accepted noncombatant service in the army, agreeing to work for the medical Corps or in anything that did not involve actual combat. Another 27, failed the basic physical examination. In the end, 6, C. Some CPS camps were run by the three historic peace churches Mennonites, Quakers, Brethren , and some were run by the government. The first camp was opened in Patapsco MD on May 15, The CPSers worked at a variety of projects, including conservation, forestry, and agricultural, and as government survey teams.

Others built sanitary facilities for hook-worm ridden communities, or worked with juvenile delinquents. Some wished to do more risky things in part, to prove that they were just as courageous as the men going into combat and volunteered as firefighters, or as human guinea pigs for medical and scientific research in jaundice infectious hepatitis , typhus, infantile paralysis, pneumonia, influenza, starvation, sea sickness, immersion and frostbite, and fly abatement experiments. Many C. There were some men in CPS who found the program intensely frustrating. How could digging ditches or blowing up tree stumps be considered "work of national importance"?

Often these men ended up walking out of CPS and going to prison instead. Click here for images from CPS camps. The I-W program [called "one-w"; the first digit is a roman numeral, not the number 1 or the letter I] became official in July , and it made a wide variety of service opportunities open to draftees.

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A number of farmers were assigned to dairy or experimental farms. Brethren Service arranged opportunities in relief and welfare work in Europe, and the Mennonites created PAX service, which employed C. By the summer of Selective Service had approved more than institutions and agencies for I-W service, with over men enrolled.

Overall, the Mennonites and Brethren were quite happy with the programs. Many of these C. Of the nearly 10, I-W men from , only about 25 men left their jobs without authorization; of them, 20 were Jehovah's Witnesses. Vietnam War The Vietnam War, as it is popularly called although war was never officially declared by the United States, produced a very organized network of draft resisters and supporters [for more information about the history of the Vietnam War, click here ]. Whatever the reason, a sizable contingent of young men declared that this armed conflict at least had no claim on them.

During this time, draft counseling services expanded sizably, and groups were formed all over the country to provide support for draft resisters.