Dead Rabbit Riot Reading Questions

First, read the first two readings and look at the anti-Irish cartoons. Then skim the account of the Dead Rabbits Riot by Anbinder. Finally, watch the movie clips from Gangs of New York, which depict this moment of ethnic violence in New York City’s history. (Only watch the third clip if you have a strong stomach for gory combat scenes.) After all of that, answer one or more of the following questions:

  1. What were the causes of the riot?
  2. What did liquor and taverns have to do with it?
  3. How is the cinematic portrayal in Scorsese’s Gangs of New York different from the historical account in Anbinder in terms of how it explains the origins of this interethnic conflict and the form that this violence takes?
  4. Hopefully you’ve never witnessed any overt ethnic or racial violence similar to the Dead Rabbits Riot. But perhaps you’ve seen, heard of, or experienced moments of racial tension or conflict. What were the causes? What form did it take? In general, why do these moments occur?

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