On-line homework assignments will be assigned on Tuesdays and will be due the following Tuesday.  Students will have one week to finish their homework assignments.  Homework can be accessed from any device that is connected to the Internet, i.e. cell phone, tablet, computer, etc. 

***NOTE***The reading selections can also be found on this web page if you have trouble accessing them through the Skyward page. 


HOMEWORK #22/"THE DRAFT" is due  

Tuesday, February 4!!

READ the short  article 
"Drafted to Serve"
before answering questions 1-6  


READ the short article ""
before answering questions 7-12. 

Drafted to Serve


1)    For as long as it has been a nation, the United States has needed people to serve in its military, fighting for the country’s freedom.  Many of them are volunteers, willing to leave their homes and go to war to defend their country.  Often, these volunteers fill the nation’s armies to capacity.  But when those numbers are not enough, the government is faced with the possibility of conscription, or a “draft” – summoning its citizens to military service for their nation.

 Debating the Draft

“The administration asserts the right to fill the ranks of the regular army by compulsion . . . . Is this, sir, consistent with the character of a free government?  Is this civil liberty?  Is this the real character of our Constitution?  No, sir, indeed it is not. . . . Where is it written in the Constitution . . . that you may take children from their parents, and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war?”

--Daniel Webster, December 9, 1814

     During and after the American Revolution, there was no national draft in place.  But when the new nation of the United States faced its first war in 1812, President James Madison realized that the country would need more soldiers.  He proposed a draft that would add 40,000 men to the nation’s military.  But Congress, though in favor of going to war, felt that a draft conflicted with the principles on which the United States was based.  Through the strong opposition of Congressman Daniel Webster and others, Madison’s proposal was defeated. 


Drafting Substitutes

     But decades later, with the advent of the Civil War, both the Union and the Confederacy implemented a draft to gather manpower.  In 1862, the confederate Congress drafted all Southern men ages 18 – 35.  The following year, the U.S. Congress passed the Enrollment Act, drafting men ages 20 – 45 for service in the union Army.

     Yet even though many men were drafted, most did not actually serve in the Civil War.  Legally, any draftee could pay a fee to avoid serving, and plenty of men did.  And even a draftee who could not afford this high fee could send someone else off to war in his place.  Nearly three-quarters of the “drafted” members of the Union Army were substitutes. 


The Selective Service Act

5)  Facing entry into World War I in the early twentieth century, the United States set out to recruit one million citizens to fight in the war.  But only 73,000 volunteers enlisted.  To make up the difference, President Woodrow Wilson decided the nation had no choice but to implement a draft.  He did so with the Selective Service Act of 1917. 

     The main purpose of the draft was to give all men an equal responsibility for the war effort.  There were no substitutions or avoidance fees.  Men were only exempt if they worked in certain jobs, were judged unable to serve, or had religious beliefs that prevented them from serving.  Otherwise, each man was assigned a draft number, and numbers were drawn in a national lottery, so every man had an equal chance.


The Selective Training and Service Act

     The draft returned in 1940, as the United States considered entering World War II.  That year, the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 required all men ages 21 – 45 to register for the draft, even during peacetime.  During wars, if selected by lottery, draftees would serve one year.  This form of the draft, with only slight changes, would be used in the United States for the coming decades.

     Through World War II and the Korean War the United States continued to draft men as needed with serious resistance.  But when the United States became involved in the Vietnam War in the 1960s, the draft met widespread opposition.  Many people felt that the United States should not have entered the war, and they looked for ways to avoid the draft.


The End of the Draft

     Gradually, the government, too, began to find that the draft was unnecessary.  In 1970, a high-ranking commission reported that the military could still remain strong without the draft.  Congress extended the draft until 1973, but then let it expire.  It has not since been revived.  But today, all males are still required to register once they reach the age of 18 – just in case the nation has need to call upon the services of its citizens once again.

How the Draft Works

  1. Congress (including both the House and the Senate) authorizes a draft.
  2. The President signs the bill into law.
  3. The Selective Service holds a lottery.Dates for every day of the year are drawn in random order.Men 20 years old are drafted according to their birthdays.If more draftees are needed, the process is repeated for ages 21, 22, and so on.Men ages 18 and 19 would be last and are unlikely to be drafted.
  4. Registrants are given physical, mental, and moral evaluations.At this stage, they can also apply to be exempt or to defer the draft to a later time.
  5. Draftees are inducted into the military.The process must be completed within 193 days.




 If the Draft Comes

1)       Chad Walton pushed the wide book slowly across the floor of his father’s grocery store.  Freckled and red-haired, tall and lanky, moving with a kind of awkward grace, he resembled an overgrown kid.  Though he was already nineteen and a half years old, he felt like a kid, too – especially these days, when more and more of his friends were volunteering to fight in the war far away in Vietnam. 

          “Sure you don’t want to enlist with me?” his friend Bob had asked incredulously.  “You’ve heard the rumors:  they say the enlisters do okay, but the draftees end up dodging bullets on the front lines.”

          “It’s okay,” Chad had shrugged, “I’ll take my chances.”  And he had stayed home, while Bob had enlisted and embarked for lands unknown.  But as he swept the floor, Chad felt reassured that he’d chosen the best path.  “I’ve got family, friends, all I need in this town for a good start in life,” he said to himself, “and if the draft comes, well it comes.”

          Years later, he remembered the irony of the timing of that thought.  The bell on the door jingled, and his father entered the store.  Like Chad, he looked young for his age – but today, the seriousness of his expression made him look far older than his years.  Chad stopped sweeping the floor and stood still, waiting. 

5)      “You’ve received a letter, son,” his father said shakily, holding out a thin envelope.  Chad took it but didn’t bother to look inside, keeping his eyes on his father.  “You – you’ve been drafted,” he stumbled over the words, “and you’re to report to the draft board office on – on May 4, 1968.”

          The days seemed to fly by until the moment Chad said good-bye to his father and mother at the draft board office.  Never before had he seen his mother’s face so grief-stricken, but his father’s stolid silence was worse still.  Trying not to think about anything at all, he waved good-bye as cheerfully as he could, and he climbed the steps to the bus that would take him to the base where he would be inducted into the army.  But on the long ride, he couldn’t seem to stop the thoughts and questions from crowding into his brain.  Where would they send him?  What would they ask him to do?  But his nineteen-year-old self refused to acknowledge the most troubling question at the back of his mind:  would he ever come home?

          His arrival at the base came as a welcome distraction.  He was briskly interviewed given mental tests, then put through a physical workout and an exam, moving from one test to the next like a cog in a rotating gear.    No one bothered to inform him of the results, but he assumed he’d passed when he was finally ushered into a sizeable room with a large group of draftees.     

          Chad and the others filed meekly along the lines marked on the floor and stood in formation, gaping at the large American flag hanging at the front of the room.  A recruiting officer strode into the room, sweeping his eyes over the draftees.

          “This is it, men,” he barked.  “Take one step forward.”

10)    The roomful of recruits, looking younger than ever, obediently stepped forward.

          “Congratulations!” barked the office.  “By taking that one step forward, you just ‘volunteered’ for the United States Army.  You’ve all just achieved a new status:  inductee.”

          Chad found himself irritated at the euphemism.  “Why pretend?” he thought to himself.  “We didn’t volunteer for anything; that’s why we’re here.”

          But the officer was already administering the oath, and Chad mechanically repeated the words with the others around him.  “I, Chad, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America and will defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic, and will obey the orders of the President and the officers appointed over me, so help me God.”

          “And that really is ‘it,’” thought Chad.  “I belong to the army.  Anything could happen now.”  But as he looked around at the men who were facing the same uncertain future, he felt a tiny glimmer of pride for the first time.  He was part of something bigger than himself, bigger than his family, bigger than his small town.  It was as big as a nation.  And he meant to live up to it.