Conscription(sometimes calledthe draftin the United States) is the mandatory enlistment of people in anational service, most often amilitary service.Conscription dates back toantiquityand it continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to theFrench Revolutionin the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerfulmilitary. MostEuropeannations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years onactive dutyand then transfer to thereserve force.

In medievalScandinaviatheleiðangr(Old Norse),leidang(Norwegian),leding, (Danish),ledung(Swedish),lichting(Dutch),expeditio(Latin) or sometimesleþing(Old English), was a levy of free farmers conscripted into…

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