On July 13, 1863, the largest riots
in American history broke out on the streets of New York CIty
, nearly destroying in four days the financial, industrial, and commercial hub of the nation. Placing the riots in the context of social tension
and reform from the 1840s through the 1870s, Barnet Schecter sheds new light on the Civil War era and on the history of protest and reform in America.
New York City at the mouth of the Hudson River is the largest city in America. The draft riots in New York City in 1863 lasted a week and were a violent representation of popular opposition to Civil War conscription. The Draft in the Civil War enabled men of means to buy their way out of military service, and was viewed as unfair by the lower classes.