The civil war within the civil war in NYC


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#2
I came upon this video and found the summary of New York City's severe political and demographic divide created by secession quite interesting. Of course, the tensions culminated in the great draft riots of 1863.

Not bad. However the term " rich man's war poor man's fight" is attributed to the 1862 Confederate Conscription Act which included " the 20 Negro Rule "which exempted wealthy slave owners. Unlike Southern resistance to the Confederate Conscription Act which included ant I Confederate guerrillas and free lance bandits the former rioters did not initiate or participate in anti Union actions after the approximately one week of riots.
Leftyhunter
 
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#3
Not bad. However the term " rich man's war poor man's fight" is attributed to the 1862 Confederate Conscription Act which included " the 20 Negro Rule "which exempted wealthy slave owners. Unlike Southern resistance to the Confederate Conscription Act which included ant I Confederate guerrillas and free lance bandits the former rioters did not initiate or participate in anti Union actions after the approximately one week of riots.
Leftyhunter
I'm not sure the "rich man's war, poor man's fight" thing is directly attributable to the Confederate Conscription Act, but I agree it came from a Confederate soldier and not a New Yorker. To clarify the Act in question, it did not "exempt wealthy slave owners" from conscription, but exempted one white male of military age, per household, from military service. Exactly how many households exercised this exemption is an interesting question but will require a new thread.

The video in the OP is worth ten minutes of anyone's time who's interested. It's pretty good and shows just how complicated all of this stuff was.
 

Bruce Vail

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#4
I came upon this video and found the summary of New York City's severe political and demographic divide created by secession quite interesting. Of course, the tensions culminated in the great draft riots of 1863.

The video is good, although I would have taken a more sympathetic tone to the working class Irish of NYC. War-time inflation was high, and the draft threatened to take an especially high toll on low-income workers forced into the army against their will. Remember too that war-profiteering was an issue in NYC, making for an explosive class divide. None of this intended to excuse the violent attacks on black civilians during the riots, only to note that war conditions had created terrible stress on some of the Irish communities.

As a footnote, local and federal authorities indirectly acknowledged the justice of the rioters' original complaint. Prosecutions for riotous acts were mostly dropped, and the few punishments handed out were light. Federal and city authorities then acted to lessen the impact on working class New Yorkers.

Author Barnet Schecter did a good job with material in his 2005 book The Devil's Own Work.
 
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#5
The video is good, although I would have taken a more sympathetic tone to the working class Irish of NYC.
I agree, only that it's hard to pack eleven pounds of sand into a ten pound bag. The video is a good, short primer, that's it.

It contains brief reference to interruption of the cotton trade, which in fact fueled large numbers of jobs for immigrants on New York's waterfront. It's a classic example of how politics is not a crisis until it effects us personally. Not an excuse, just an explanation.
 



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