On this day:
1917 – World War I: Conscription begins in the United States as “Army registration day”.
Conscription, or drafting, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.
Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; political objection, for example to service for a disliked government or unpopular war; and ideological objection, for example, to a perceived violation of individual rights. Those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or even outside the military, such as ‘Siviilipalvelus’ (civil service) in Finland, Zivildienst (civil service) in Austria and Switzerland. Most post-Soviet countries conscript soldiers not only for Armed Forces but also for paramilitary organizations which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service (Internal Troops) or non-combat rescue duties (Civil Defence Troops) – none of which is considered alternative to the military conscription.
As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops. The ability to rely on such an arrangement, however, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis.
Born on this day:
1646 – Elena Cornaro Piscopia, Italian mathematician and philosopher (d. 1684)
Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, also Helen Cornaro (Italian: [pisˈkɔːpja]; 5 June 1646 – 26 July 1684), was an Italian philosopher of noble descent, who was the first woman to receive an academic degree from a university. She was one of the first women to receive an academic degree and in 1678 she became the first woman in the world to receive a Ph.D. degree.
Elena was considered to be an expert musician. In addition to mastering the sciblis of her time-which means she mastered almost the entire body of knowledge-Elena mastered the harpsichord, the clavichord, the harp, and the violin. Her skills were shown by the music that she composed in her lifetime.
She was a member of various academies and was esteemed throughout Europe for her attainments and virtues. In Hypatia’s Heritage, Margaret Alic states that she became a mathematics lecturer at the University of Padua in 1678.
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