Today In History: The Bloodiest Race Riot in History

On this day in 1863 the New York City draft riots known at the time as draft week, discontent with new laws passed by congress that year to draft men to fight in the ongoing American civil war.

The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history.

President Abraham Lincoln diverted several regiments of militia and volunteer troops from following up after the battle of Gettysburg to control the city.

The rioters were overwhelmingly working-class men, primarily ethnic irish.

They resented that the draft spared wealthier men, who could afford to pay a $300 commutation fee to hire a substitute.

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