The New York City draft riots occurred July 13–16, 1863 and were referred to Draft Week. At this time Congress passed laws to draft men to fight in the American Civil War. The working class were very upset at this law and did not approve of drafting. At first the riots were against the draft, but this turned into a race riot. Much of the Irish were new to the country, and mostly poor. Being in the working class in New York City, jobs were scarce. The Irish did not support the abolition of slavery because the newly freed slaves would take over the lesser paying jobs, displacing the work the Irish community held. The majority of the working class were in favor of Northern unity, but they were angered that the wealthy men could “simply pay $300.00 to get out of the obligation” of entering the draft 1.
On July 11, 1863 was the day at the names were drawn for the draft. Irish workers and foreign immigrant workers rush to the streets. The rioters attacked the city and “ransacked or destroyed numerous public buildings, two Protestant churches, the homes of various abolitionists or sympathizers, many black homes, and the Colored Orphan Asylum at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue, which was burned to the ground”.2 The New York draft riot was associated with racial competition for jobs. The Northern labor feared that the emancipation of slaves would ca...
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...pping from St. Louis to New Orleans and completed the encirclement of the Confederacy. The Confederate soldiers were weak and under nourished and this was a major contributor to the Union victory.
As the battle of Gettysburg and Vicksburg were studied, it seems that these battles should be taught outside the study of the 1863 New York draft riots. The New York draft riot was internal fighting, the North versus the North. While the battles of Gettysburg and Vicksburg were directly related to the Civil War and this was a war between the Union army versus the Confederate army.
In addition to the battles mentioned above the battle of Shiloh and the battle Bull Run should be taught in an introductory US history course. These battles took place a year or two prior to the battle of Gettysburg and Vicksburg and they set up strategic positions for future battles.
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