Argumentative Essay: Conscription During The Civil War

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Conscription during the Civil War Conscription, also known as the draft, legally forced people to join the army. During the Civil War period, there weren’t enough volunteers and they needed people to fight in the war. Therefore, they had to force people, who were strong and able, to join the military and fight. Although the draft was mandatory for those that were able, people who had money were able to buy their way out of it. On March 3, 1863, Congress passed a Conscription Act which stated that citizens could now be drafted into the war. Passing this Conscription Act produced the first wartime draft of U.S. citizens in American history. The act required that all males between ages 20 and 45, including non-Americans who were soon to become citizens register by April 1. Both the North and the South had to resort to conscription because of the lack of military men, but each had their own ways of enforcing it. On April 16, 1862, the first American military draft was established by…show more content…
Conscription led to anger and violence among the citizens because many did not like how people could pay their way out of the draft, or hire other people to take their place. Many states decided to go against the draft by claiming freed slaves who enlisted in the Union Army. Out of the 168,649 men drafted in the Union Army, 117,986 were substitutes, and only 50,663 who actually participated in conscription. People felt as though only the rich could afford getting out of conscription, and they saw it to be unfair for the poor people. Also, some felt that they would lose their jobs to the African Americans who were willing to fight for their country, regardless of the circumstances. This disagreement led to the Draft Riot of July 1863 in New York. In the riot, a mob of white poor, working men had a four-day riot, destroying factories that made war supplies and attacking innocent African Americans. (Werner

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