New York City Draft Riots Essay

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The New York City draft riots were violent disturbances in New York City during 1863 that resulted in not only African American death, but extreme social tension. The animosity was a result of the new laws passed by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the ongoing American Civil War. Spanning three days, July 13th through the 16th, 1863, the riots were the culmination of the longstanding working class and largely Irish racial, political and religious resentment of the government. Working class Irish immigrants had suffered inflation, food shortages, and virulent discrimination and unemployment. Draft Laws which took effect on July 11th only fueled what was preparing to be a riot.
The Draft Laws stated that all single men between the
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But by afternoon of the first day, some of the rioters had turned to attacks on black people, and on things symbolic of black political, economic, and social power. An event of many that really highlights the magnitude of violence of the rioters took place on July 13. Children numbering 233, were quietly seated in their school rooms, playing in the nursery. An infuriated mob, consisting of several thousand men, women and children, armed with clubs, brick bats etc. advanced upon the Institution. The crowd then proceeded to set fire to the building. Miraculously, the mob refrained from assaulting the children. But when an Irish observer of the scene spoke out against the savage like behavior, the mob laid hold of him, and appeared ready to tear him to pieces. The Irish observer who verbally defended the injustice for was not the only white person punished by rioters for seeming overly sympathetic to blacks. Throughout the five day duration of the New York City Riots, mobs harassed and lynched eleven black men. The riots also forced many blacks to relocate out of the city.
On Tuesday, July 14, the rioters again focused on destroying and looting property of the wealthy, including stores such as Brooks Brothers. The protesters assaulted police and soldiers, who represented federal authority, and erected barricades along First and Third Avenues. The mob continued venting its ferocious fury on blacks, beating them and burning their homes and

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