M ost people who are passingly familiar with the Civil War or who have seen the film Gangs of New York likely know that Irish immigrants were the chief culprits in one of the most infamous incidents in that conflict: the New York City Draft Riots. In July 1863, about 1,200 to 1,500 men, mostly Irish dockworkers, rioted against the Civil War draft in New York City in a four-day upheaval, targeting black workers and citizens. https://www.history.com/news/four-days-of-fire-the-new-york-city-draft-riots For four days, from 13-16 July 1863, the New York City draft riots raged in the city’s streets. The draft riots can be considered as a civil war within the North, and indeed as a civil war among the Irish of New York in particular. The latter battle, which became known as the New York Draft Riots, was not a fight between Union and Confederate troops, however. The Civil War and the rise of the Republican Party and Lincoln to power indicated to New York's largely Democratic white workers a reversal of power in the nation; black labor competition indicated a reversal of fortunes in New York City itself. Implementation of the draft began in New York on Saturday, July 11, 1863. By Monday, July 13, Manhattan was in turmoil; and on Tuesday and Wednesday, violence and rioting were severe. Toby Joyce is an engineer with a lifelong interest in the history of nineteenth-century Irish-America. The Draft and Draft Riots in New York during the Civil War. In July of 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, Americans were fighting on battlefields across the country—Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and New York City. Lasting nearly a week, the riots were the largest civil insurrection in U.S. history besides the Civil War itself. print this page. By the start of the Civil War in April 1861, New York City, New York Mayor Fernando Wood called for the city to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy, but the response from most New Yorkers was unenthusiastic. New York City Draft Riots (July 11-13, 1863) "The nation is at this time in a state of Revolution, North, South, East, and West," wrote the Washington Times during the often violent protests that occurred after Abraham Lincoln issued the March 3, 1863, Enrollment Act of Conscription. From July 13 to July 17, 1863, mobs of mostly Irish-born rioters in Manhattan vented their opposition to being … The draft riots in July, 1863 illustrate how racial, social and economic differences came to a head in New York City. . Further reading: T. Anbinder, Five Points (New York, 2001). The New York City Draft Riots remain today the single largest urban civilian insurrection in United States history. Nonetheless, two years later … On this anniversary of the New York City Draft Riots and Massacre, July 13 – 16, 1863, we share a teaching activity that helps students explore what Howard Zinn described as the most destructive period of civil violence in U.S. history. The number of fatalities is unclear, but reports fluctuate between 100 to over 1,000. Finally, and most simply, white workers asserted their superiority over blacks through the riots. An enormous historical event that shaped New York City is not much spoken of today. The authorities responded with police and army forces to quell the riots. By the time New York state militia and federal troops had restored order, more than 100 people had been killed, as many as a dozen Black men lynched, hundreds – if not thousands – of people injured, and millions of dollars of damage done. With a lifelong interest in the history of nineteenth-century Irish-America the authorities responded with police army. 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