The New York City Draft Riots

(144 words)

Historical Context Note

The New York Draft Riots took place in July 1863 and resulted in considerable injury, loss of life and damage to property. The riot was sparked by the enforcement of the National Conscription Act ,which introduced a draft lottery for men aged between twenty and forty-five. The act was seen as discriminatory since it was possible to pay a $300 exemption fee, something clearly only available to the wealthy. Feeling unfairly treated, the white working class population of New York began to riot after the second round of draftees names were published on the 13th of July, at first attacking government buildings and police stations. But attacks soon began on African Americans, as poor workers who had resented the Emancipation Proclamation o…

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  1. American Civil War