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For five days in July 1863, at the height of the Civil War, New York City was under siege. Angry rioters burned draft offices, closed factories, destroyed railroad tracks and telegraph lines, and hunted policemen and soldiers. Before long, the rioters also turned their murderous wrath against the black community. In the end, at least 105 people were killed, making the draft riots the most violent insurrection in American history.
Iver Bernstein tells the story of the New York City draft riots, detailing how what began as a demonstration against the first federal draft quickly expanded into a sweeping assault against local institutions and the personnel of Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party as well as a grotesque race riot. In a tour de force of historical detection, Bernstein shows that to evaluate the significance of the riots we must enter the minds and experiences of a cast of characters: Irish and German immigrant workers, Wall Street businessmen who frantically debated whether to declare martial law, nervous politicians in Washington and at City Hall. An in-depth study of one of the most troubling and least understood crises in American history, The New York City Draft Riots is the first book to reveal the complex social, cultural, and political relations that made the bloody events of July 1863 possible.
“Detailed and sophisticated. . . . An impressive book. Bernstein displays ingenuity in conceiving of the riots as something more than an abrupt, momentary episode, and he has dug deep to locate sources. . . . Clearly the new interpretive authority.”—Georgia Historical Quarterly
|1||Draft Riots And The Social Order|
|1.||A Multiplicity of Grievances||17|
|2.||The Two Tempers of Draco||43|
|2||Origins Of The Crisis, 1850s And 1860s|
|3.||Workers and Consolidation||75|
|3||Resolutions Of The Crisis, 1860s And 1870s|
|6.||The Rise and Decline of Tweed's Tammany Hall||195|
|Epilogue: The Draft Riots' Lost Significance||259|
|Appendices and Maps||265|