Originally posted on Irish in the American Civil War:
150 years ago this month the one of the defining moments in nineteenth century American history occurred, when the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. Abraham Lincoln shifted the war from one to preserve the Union to a struggle to both restore that Union and free the enslaved African-American people. Perhaps the most challenging task when looking at the Irish-American experience of the American Civil War is attempting to comprehend why so many Irish felt such antipathy towards the black community. Such ill-feeling found its full expression in events such as the lynchings and beating of New York’s African-Americans during the 1863 Draft Riots, an event in which the majority of participants were Irish. Over the next year I intend to explore this topic further, through a number of posts that will examine aspects of the cause and effects that contributed towards Irish views.
It is perhaps inevitable that we tend to…
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