Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury Essays
The movie's main plot revolves around revenge and the feuding between the gangs controlling the Bowery and the Five Points area of lower Manhattan and culminates with the Civil War draft riots. The two major political parties, Tammany Hall (Democratic based) and the Native Americans (Know-Nothing Party), used …show more content…
The origins of Five Points began around 1802 with a landfill that covered a foul pit of chemical and animal waste. In the 1700's lower Manhattan contained a large lake filled with an abundance of fish and surrounded by wild marsh lands teaming with birds and other wildlife. The lake became known as the Collect Pond and was very popular with fishermen and local residents who would picnic along the shores in the summer and skate on the ice in winter. It was a lovely place until the tanneries, breweries, and slaughterhouses moved in and caused massive pollution and contamination of the lake's water. In 1802 the city's Street Commissioner recommended that the Collect be drained and filled in due to the stench and health problems caused by the pollution.
The Collect landfill was completed by around 1812 and by 1813, the streets were laid out and the land speculators moved in, building two and one-half story wooden structures. Many were occupied by artisans and tradesmen who combined their