The First World War's appalling death toll and the corresponding need for sacrifice on the homefront led to Canada's first experience of overseas conscription. The backlash against enforced military service in Quebec was seen as a great threat to the wartime vision of national unity. This has obscured the important role of those who saw military service as incompatible with their religious or ethical beliefs.This study of the experience of conscientious objectors offers insight into evolving attitudes about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship during a key period of Canadian nation building. A claim of conscientious exemption to a war widely seen as holy was difficult both for the individual to make and for wider Canadian society to understand. The negative stereotype of the conscientious objector illuminates expectations of appropriate masculine behaviour, while encompassing a sense that the claims of certain individuals and denominations were more justifiable than others."Crisis of Conscience" is the first and only book about the Canadian pacifists who refused to fight in the Great War. It will appeal to readers interested in Canadian military and peace history. The book is also relevant to those concerned with questions of voluntarism and obligation in a democratic society, and issues of gender history and minority freedom and identity.