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Draft Dodging

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60079.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:49 pm Reply with quote

Question: In the 18th century, what made thousands of Russian men want to move in with their mother?

Answer: Avoiding conscription.

In 1700 Peter the Great of Russia wanted his newly forceful country to exert some maritime power, so decided to declare war on Sweden, who were in control of the Baltic sea. Their first attempt at taking the Baltic coast was not successful, the well organised Swedes had no problem winning the Battle of Narva, and so Peter was forced to reconvene.

One of Peterís ideas was conscription to bulk up his army, deciding on a figure of one recruit for every twenty tax-paying households, this law quickly caused tens of thousands of Russians to move in with relatives. Between 1678 and 1710 the number of households in Russia fell from 800,000 to only 640,000.

The Caucasus areas of Russia have been heralded as a hotbed of longevity for many years however, according to Russian geneticist Zhores Medvedev there is a quite simple reason for the great age of the Georgians. During WWI a number of deserters took over the lives of their dead relatives in order to avoid detection, so by the 1959 census, the Caucasus had 2% of the Soviet population and 97% of the countryís centenarians, almost all of whom, it is theorised, were deserters.

In South Korea, youngsters have been getting tattooed to deliberately avoid national service, the country was shocked when 170 young men were arrested last year for "wilfully tampering with their bodies to avoid military duty" - a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.

Frederick The Monk
60499.  Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:53 am Reply with quote

Link to Dentistry see post 56509.


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