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New York City Draft Riots
On July 11th eighteen sixty-three, America began the first nationwide military draft in order to fill the washed-out ranks of the Union Army. While many people in the country opposed the draft, it ran smooth, rebellion free in nearly every city; all except New York. The people of New York, in particularly Irish immigrants, felt the Conscription Act of 1863 was unconstitutional, and that a revolt was indeed necessary. The Conscription Act included a clause allowing a person to pay $300 to avoid service. This sum, about half the annual wage of working-class Americans, was beyond the means o…
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