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Gangs of New York - History Review

Aug 14, 2022
martin scorsese's 2002 new

york

gangs

ter film based on herbert asbury's novel of the same name is a sweeping historical drama scorsese called the film a historical opera and i think it's pretty apt this sweeping epic covers irish priest valon his irish gang the dead rabbits and their multi-generational fight against william the butcher cut and his nativist anti-immigrant and anti-catholic

gangs

, from massive gang battles to the son of valen struggling with what it means to be irish or to have a father, the film focuses heavily on the Irish experience. immigrants in new

york

in the mid 19th century the film begins in 1846 with valen and concludes with his son passing through amsterdam getting caught up in the 1863 new york city riots in this

review

we are going to examine the story behind the film where he gets the story right and where he could have done better let's dig into gangs of new york part one five points in new york city life martin scorsese went all out recreating the five point area of ​​the new york city for this film located at a bizarre five street intersection this area was notorious in the early 1800s for its alcohol prostitution crime racial mixing and squalor for this film set he actually built several square blocks in rome in order to really capturing the setting and based it on multiple contemporary paintings and prints, we see the two-story wooden tenement buildings that were a staple of five points in the first half of the 19th century originally intended to be a mixed-use development where shop owners could live and work in the same building the owners saw the influx of immigrants and decided to divide the buildings into several tiny apartments to obtain more money. water pump that was right next to some latrines creating very unsanitary conditions, the opening scene of the film shows the notorious brewery housing which reportedly at one point housed over a thousand residents, including some in the Partially sunken wet basement.
gangs of new york   history review
These buildings often had no heating, leading to bitterly cold winters, but the last brick dwellings were sweltering and hot in summer until 1858. The New York Herald Five-point set that was a nest of drunken rogue debauchery Vice and pestilence in 1842 charles dickens wrote the following five point description here too there are lanes and alleyways paved with knee deep mud underground chambers where they dance in play the walls adorned with crude designs of ships and forts and american flags and eagles ruined houses open to the street winds through wide gaps in the walls other ruins loom over the eye as if the world of vice and misery had nothing but to show hideous dwellings that take their name from robbery and murder everything that is detested something fallen and decayed is here, so the neighborhood had a reputation well l in the 1850s, although the

history

dor tyler onbender points out that the irish immigrants were making it better and that in 1863 where most of the film takes place it wouldn't have been too bad, in fact i'm sorry to say the brewery building was demolished by 1853 so which aside from the first scene, would not have existed for the rest of the film, in fact at this point the owners were seeing even more dollar signs and were actually building four five story brick dwellings to cram in even more immigrants , so the five points of the 1863 film part were a bit behind in appearance.
gangs of new york   history review

More Interesting Facts About,

gangs of new york history review...

What we see here is that the movie has the right feel and era themes, though it really does play fast and loose with the actual years and events. We'll come back to that in a moment. Part 2 Gang life in 19th century New York Gang violence is a big part of the film and consequently was a part of life in New York City in the mid 19th century, to quote to Luke Sante in his 1991 work low life the basic unit of social life among young men in new york in the 19th century was what it may still be and increasingly is the gang the manhattan of immigrants gangs were a marker important a kind of violence-fuelled social gamble was a normal part of life in their ever-contested environment turf warfare was a condition of the neighborhood mary ryan in her work civic wars points out that the mob's public displays of democracy, including the violence, were not an early 19th century mistake but a characteristic quote in 1834 and by the end of the next decade the streets of new york remained open and hospitable to the discourse of democracies. ocratic even when it got a bit raucous in fact a riot wasn't so much a breakdown of the democratic process as its conduction by other means the irish and nativist gangs in the movie the bow boys the plug is ugly the dead rabbits the atlantic guard and so on they were from asbury's book and were true to the story in fact portrayals of the bowery boys one of the nativist bands with their distinctive costumes and top hats and bright colors are generally well done in the film.
gangs of new york   history review
Historian Tyler Onbender notes that many of these gangs were not just thieves, thieves, pickpockets, or gamblers, but rather political gangs aiming to carve out a niche for their people or their beliefs. the kids in the atlantic guard were going to defend their polling places or attacking irish polling places during elections to be fair to the movie some of these gangs were on a crime as we have seen in the paper and dickens cite five points also even the The Woman with Her Fangs and Claws was based on a historical woman who called herself Maggie the Hellcat, who supposedly filed her teeth and donned her claws for gang fights. dominated in certain areas, the film also notes how the New York City metropolitan and municipal police were in fierce rivalries with each other, which led to som the leeway that allowed criminal gangs to fill in the gaps.
gangs of new york   history review
The opening battle of the gangs is an interesting piece. We are introduced to the hero characters. Both sides are color-coded and then we're treated to a massive fight between hundreds of individuals who dropped scores. dead or wounded it almost looks like a medieval battle more than something from the mid 19th century so New York City in the five points was an eternal bloodbath the response was rarely but there were a few cases where this was plausible in 1849 shortly after the first battle in the film a dispute between two actors and their supporters escalated into an event known as the astor place riots which took place in may this escalated into a three day riot which actually had nativist gangs fighting Irish gangs and while it was a bit more complex both sides ended up having clashes with police and militia which ended with over 20 of the rioters being killed and over 40 injured with dozens of police and Injured militiamen too, while massiv explosions of gang violence occurred unlike in the movie, police and militia would definitely have stepped in to try and d issolving such a large gang fight in the 1840s and beyond.
Mary Ryan notes that the police and militia made a concerted effort after Astor Place. to reclaim the streets and reduce gang influence another candidate for a fight like this might be the dead rabbits riot of 1857 the dead rabbits hoping to exploit the rivalry between the municipal and metropolitan police moved to the Bowery neighborhood to try to increase their territory in their holdings like the movie this would be accurate in that it was Irish gang vs. gang and generally anti-Irish forces. The riot involved large numbers, but the final casualties were only 8 dead and 30-100 wounded. most gang violence usually only had one or two deaths, so the bottom line is that while Scorsese did an entertaining job of showing this medieval-style battle in the middle of New York City, these events Las s were quite rare in the gang world but not impossible gang speaking let us take a closer look at the main antagonists of william the butcher movie cutting part 3 the butcher while priest valin and his son amsterdam were fictional there was a real butcher named william poole was a founding member of the bowery boys as we learned earlier they were a strongly politically anti-catholic anti-irish and pro-protestant gang the historical group was a boxer and big guy and definitely known for wrestling policy that your group would make. shows up and causes trouble, especially during elections, but the royal group is less famous for being involved in the robbery and tribute taking that we see in the movie.
Most of his illegal activity in

history

involved his personal vices of gambling, drinking, and fighting. a firefighter in the movie when we see fire companies fighting over who will put out a fire in controlled territory which is pretty close to the true story w With Poole in the wrong time frame if you're starting to see a trend plus the Fool and his Bowery boys were usually out of the five points and probably would not have posted in the middle of the Irish fort, but more of a skirmish. with them on the outskirts trying to protect what they saw as their territory, he was said to be a proficient knife fighter due to his butchering skills, so that part was accurate, a lot of this was portrayed very well in the film, but the ending has changed a To make matters more dramatic, there was an Irish assassination attempt on his life in 1855, but unlike the movie, it was successful. bullet in his leg killed poole morrissey he was also a member of the tammany ring under boss tweed which the film shows by portraying new york's democratic political machine and the influx of irish immigrants and gangs getting caught up in it once again, the film is getting the spirit of the times right on the themes but makes a lot of fun of the actual people, events and time frames talking about the spirit of the movie let's talk about one of the core. stories of issues and gangs in new york part 4 irish and american society the film opens with priest valen explaining to a young amsterdam the importance of st michael in the catholic faith and that tone really continues throughout the film gangs la dirty politics and the draft riots of 1863 are different aspects of the story of irish immigrants to the united states and new york city while irish immigrants had been coming to the united states for years the irish potato famine of 1845 and 1846 changed everything the years 1845 and 1846 potato crops ruined by fungus lost up to 90 percent of their yields during those two years for a population where the rural poor ate potatoes as a staple of their diet, this led to more than a million people dying of hunger and a million and a half people emigrating with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people as fleeing to the united states all this from a nation of only 9 million people these hundreds of thousands of immigrants were flooding a country of only 23 million people by 1850 the point is this was a pretty big shift in the demographics of the united states the irish were also predominantly catholic and addressing a nation that was strongly protestant to quote fergus bordowicz in just 25 years from 1830 to 1855 the population of the five dotted area almost doubled for the first generation of immigrants who represented 72 percent of the area's population.
One result of this cruelly congested new type of city was the first American slum. Another was the street gang that we already saw that as early as the 1830s. crowding as many people as possible into unsanitary conditions in the five points with the arrival of new Irish immigrants the tenements became larger but even more crowded with new arrivals , this meant that from the 1830s to the 1850s, new Irish immigrants who were Catholic, and in many cases poor refugees, were seen as a threat by some Americans known as nativists or ignoramuses. These groups, mainly Protestants, were staunchly anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant, making the Irish a double threat in their eyes, they were not only afraid of job competition and jobs, but also of changes in culture, they were often against drinking in religious schools and any Irish attempts to gain a foothold in government as explained above. this led not only to gang wars caused by crime, but also to gang wars caused by politics. as a useful source of votes and were picked up and allied with by new york city democrats during the 1840s and 1850s john morrisseyThe Irish immigrant who had the landmark bill that killed the gang of butchers ended up being a New York Democrat politician who said that seen with the Irish being made citizens and immediately drafted into the military off the ship is an exaggeration at that At the moment citizenship would usually take five years but going into the army would reduce that to one year due to many young Irishmen joining the union army to speed up the citizenship process but the ship scene marks this down to 11 and makes it a bit exaggerated also for good measure, voting at that time would not have been done behind a curtain with a pencil; in fact, the lack of privacy and voting was one of the contributing factors to the level of violence, intimidation and coercion that occurred during the election, which the film does a very good job of illustrating overall, the film captures the spirit from Irish experiences in the US more or less correct, even if it deviates by about a decade, for example, the ignorant as an official political party was dying out in the 1860s, so seeing a poster not knew anything in 1863 would probably have been unlikely, although nativist sentiment was still present in newspapers and cartoon depictions of the Irish often depicted them as subhuman or a Catholic threat. for protestant children irish need not apply signs that existed in the united states and were often placed next to signs ignoring blackAlso workers who said in the 1860s Unbender argued that the irish were beginning to improve the five points and settle down.
He even points out that the gang fights at the five points in 1863 were more likely to have been Irish vs. Irish rather than Irish vs. Nativists. nolan native in his book how the irish became white points out that the irish joined the police and fire departments as an important tool to be seen as white or american if you click on this link you can see more about the history of the whiteness in the united states but the movie actually points out that the irish were not seen as white when bill the butcher uses the n-word to refer to a would-be irish murderer, the movie is not just about a fight between rival criminal enterprises, but about the definitions of what it means to be white or what it means to be American which leads us to the final scene of the film and how it deals with race part 5 the draft riots of 1863 and race amsterdam although taken under the wing of the butcher in the movie never forgives is him for the death of his father this sets up a climactic final battle between the butcher and amsterdam the pa confederation American triots and the dead rabbits, the nativists and the Irish, then, as the two sides are about to have their final battle, they are completely overtaken by the events of the New York City draft riots of 1863, the film he had been preparing for this event subtly throughout the film. its like a war for the rich waged by the poor at one point the nativists yell that lincoln wants to turn white men into slaves at first it seems like the movie will take the easy road and just show the nativists as racist virals and then the whole thing happens scene of the riots let's get some inaccuracies out of the way the draft riot was in july not in the middle of winter and the union navy didn't bomb new york city but just when i thought the fi wouldn't be realistic in its description of the race, they show mainly Irish mobs carrying out lynching, you hear ticker technicians talk about black boarding schools and orphanages being raided along with government buildings, the Irish and other immigrant groups with many semi-skilled workers. he regarded free blacks as direct job competition, as such at least 10 blacks were lynched during the riots, so it was not just a matter of conscription in opposition to a war for the union and to end slavery. became white using civic service and ethnic pride as well as his gang to establish themselves as Americans also argued that they used violence against blacks to distinguish themselves as whites we saw the butcher directly compare the irish to blacks using a slur on the film but depictions of direct or non-white comparisons of the Irish to African-Americans were not uncommon, the Irish were not only competing for jobs with African-Americans, but were in a battle for a piece of whiteness, the film makes sure to include the racial, economic, and political tensions that led to the draft riots and it doesn't dance around any of these issues, including race, if you take the gang fight the union navy and it being winter this portrayal is visceral but pretty close to reality with this event being part of the irish quest for belonging has I don't get a sense now why Scorsese faked so many of the other events to fit this ending into the timeline to drive the point home.
The draft riots interrupt the final gang battle which leads to a rather anticlimactic fight between a tired and exhausted Amsterdam. and cut as if to show that the focus of society and new york city had moved on by then talking about racing fans of chinatown depictions and the chinese in this movie would be disappointed to learn that again scorsese plays fast and loose with the time frame chinatown becomes an important part of new and working city but the chinese population in new york was small at the time and chinese women were rare enough that newspapers commented that when they gave born in the late 1800s, you may see more Chinese immigrants, but in 1863 this part was not entirely accurate Six Conclusions E Overall, Scorsese did a fantastic job of capturing the appearance of New York at the five points in the early to mid-19th century, while his depictions are more in line with the 1830s and 1840s rather than the 1840s to 1860s.
Capture the first Irish nativist. conflict to irish verse conflict of black workers the corruption of the democratic machine in new york the class struggles between rich and poor and the use of public displays of democracy including violence in the mid 19th century if you can sidestep most of the people being fabricated or being in the wrong time period and the dates are off by a couple of decades, so this story does a great job of capturing the themes of the time, if not the actual history. Professor Onbender himself gave it an A for subject matter but a C for actual historical accuracy and I'm inclined to agree with his assessment of it as a film.
I love it, although almost three hours of running time makes it a bit of a beast. accused him of targeted atrocities and the worst riots in American history to portray America in a negative light, but I personally think showing mob politics and riots as part of American life in the first half of the 19th century It is something the public must see. there were gangs, they were often ethnic and political and they were literally fighting and fighting like an extension of democracy for their peace in the american pie thank you all for watching and thank you to my sponsors who made this video possible. be the executive producer and suggest this topic i want to suggest a movie or topic for me to cover next head over to patreon.com the story cleared to support the channel i hope you enjoyed watching a d as always stay excited about the story

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