On this day in 1863, Congress passed the act that led to the first wartime draft of U.S. citizens in American history. It called for the registration of all males between the ages of 20 and 45 by April 1, including any immigrants who intended to apply for citizenship.
Exemptions from the draft were sold for $300 though, and wealthy men could also sidestep the draft by finding a substitute.
That clause in the conscription act that led to bloody draft riots in New York City four months later. Protesters were enraged that wealthy men could buy their way out of service.
The Confederate States of America also enacted a draft.