The Conscription Act delivered the final straw in the long list of discrepancies, the catalyst that turned that small forest fire into a raging inferno of hate and fear. The white working class (mostly Irish immigrants) were infuriated, they couldn’t understand how they, white, hard-working voters were being punished. The government was forcing them to fight a war they didn’t support and the only way they could avoid it was to pay 300 dollars (a years wages for most), yet they would pay African Americans 1,000 dollars for volunteering. The new federal draft conditions also expanded to include a wider age range of men it would take. “The conscription law targeted men between the ages of 20 and 35, and all unmarried men up to age 45.” Adding to the already high tensions of laborers, since the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation they ...
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...Irene. “New York Draft Riots.” Virtual New York. accessed September 8, 2013. http://www.vny.cuny.edu/draftriots/Intro/draft_riot_intro_set.html.
Baldwin, Peter C. “The Fourth Ward: Life and Death in New York 1860-1870, The Draft Riots. Accessed November 11, 2013. http://vm.uconn.edu/~pbaldwin/ward4p8.html
Harris, Leslie M. “In The Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863. New York: University of Chicago Press, 2003. http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/317749.html
Kennedy, C. Robert. “How To Escape The Draft.” New York Times: On This Day. accessed September 12, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/harp/0801.html.
McGruder, Kevin. “Black New York and the Draft Riots.” The New York Times Opinion Page. Accessed November 11, 2013. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/black-new-york-and-the-draft-riots/?_r=1
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