The New York City Draft Riots

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John Etefia
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The New York City Draft Riots that took place July 13-16 of 1863 during the Civil War are considered the largest civil insurrection in the American History. The riots started off as a protest against the Conscription Act passed in March of 1863, which made all single men age 20-45 and married men up to 35 were subject to the draft lottery. The part of the Conscription Act that really caused an uproar was not only the fact that it forced men to go and fight in a war whether they believed in its cause or not, problem with this act was an that the person could pay an exception fee of 300$ to anyone able to pay it meaning wealthy people often didn’t have to fight.

Another legislative decision during the American Civil War that caused much controversy throughout the United States was President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that partially freed the slaves in Confederate and Union States. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued after the victory at Antietam, Maryland. This changed the goal of the war from preserving the Union to destroying the system of slavery. Lincoln received not only from the Slaves but from many white Americans as well. Lincoln even made it possible for them to join the military and instilled the belief that they were fighting for their freedom. By the mid nineteenth century American had seen a wave of Immigrants, many of whom were Irish and German, as a result of the potato famine, various land enclosures and revolutions. Germany and Irelands immigration is a result of rapid population increase, high unemployment rates and most notably Ireland’s strong dependence on the potato. The great famine caused great starvation and the immigration of Irish people to the United States. The Germans fled Germany to escape economic hardships and sought to escape the political unrest caused by riots, rebellion and a revolution in 1848. The Germans had little to no choice but to come to America because other...
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