The Home Front: 1861 to 1865

The Military Draft

Were there other strong prejudices in the Northern cities or states?

The prejudice against the Irish was the most extreme, but almost any kind of Roman Catholic was seen as suspicious. Then, too, any immigrant who did not quickly rise in the world was seen as a laggard or sluggard. One way to make a more fitting comparison between the 1860s and our own time is simply to observe what did not exist at that time: unemployment compensation, welfare, life insurance for any but the wealthy. People from all walks of life were frequently injured or impaired while on the job, and almost no one thought it the duty of the employer to make them whole.


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