"It was the Union Army draft that touched off the four days of rioting on July 13, 1863. Or was it racism? Or immigration? Or politics? It is fitting that the largest riot in American history should have so many causes. Ever since it ended, Americans have struggled to explain why a draft rebellion, a race riot, a class war and an immigrant uprising all erupted in the middle of a civil war fought in the name of unity."
Jon Grinspan in The New York Times marks the 150th anniversary of the New York City Draft Riots.