Military Draft Research Paper

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Ever since America established itself as an independent country, there has consistently been a need for soldiers to fight in the many wars that the country has found itself involved in. This need has made conscription a very common aspect during wartime in America. The draft was first introduced to the USA during the Civil War, in which both the Confederate and Union Armies forced men to fight in the military. Later on in history, the draft became a seriously debated topic during both World War One and the Vietnam War. Many people felt the draft was an infringement on people’s civil liberties and should be discontinued while some people felt conscription was necessary for the future survival of America. The draft was finally discontinued after…show more content…
The first instances of unrest occurred after Lincoln instated conscription in the North during the civil war because the army needed more manpower in order to fight the Confederacy. In July of 1863, large groups of immigrants swarmed in New York City in an effort to protest the draft . The lower class resented the part of the draft law that allowed wealthy men to pay three hundred dollars to avoid fighting in the war altogether. The cry of these protesters was heard throughout out the streets as they voiced their oppositions, shouting about the fact that it was “a rich man’s war, but a poor man’s fight.” These riots lasted about four days before the Army of the Potomac restored order. During World War One the draft was protested in a much more passive way, as many men chose to apply for exemptions or just refuse to register at all. This led to about sixteen thousand men getting arrested in New York City in 1918 for failing to register or report to the draft office. Although there was much contempt towards the draft during this war, the patriotism was very heightened at this time period so less than four hundred thousand men dodged the draft, leading to the draft being considered overall…show more content…
This is because conscription is historically unequal, proving to favor Caucasians and the upper class since the era of the Civil War. During this era, in both the Confederacy and the Union had multiple ways to legally avoid the draft. These methods included, paying three hundred dollars or hiring someone to go in their place. As well as this clear form of class discrimination, because only wealthy people could afford this practice, the military also didn’t draft people with important jobs. These included professions like civil officials, telegraph operators, miners, druggists, and teachers; essentially any form of work that was needed to keep society in tact for when the war was over. This proved to be unfair as well, because very impoverished people and families usually were unemployed or had a less important profession in the eyes of the government. Later on, the draft allowed men with twenty or more slaves to automatically be exempt from the draft, again making it so there would be a disproportionate amount of upper class and rich men fighting in the

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