Gangs of New York: Who’s A True American?
“You can hire half the poor to kill the other half.” Boss Tweed spoke these words in reference to the Draft Riots. It shows that you can easily turn the poor against each other, if you bring money into the situation. Gangs of New York is about the separation of the Irish and the Natives, which eventually led into larger conflicts. In this film there are two important characters, Amsterdam Vallon and Boyle McGloin, who were both Irishmen in the Five Points. Amsterdam was the son of Priest Vallon and he became a positive Irish Leader who was looked up to by many. Boyle McGloin was an Irishmen who was a Dead Rabbit, but later joined Bill “The Butcher” Cutting and became a “Native”. The character
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He also behaved similar to other Irishmen and Irishwomen because as recently stated; blacks were viewed as their competition and not their allies. The characteristics of Amsterdam are beneficial to society because instead of following like the other Irish/Natives he stood up and took on the initiative to change the Five Points. He wasn’t afraid of Bill and he knew how to make him angry, and weak (by not following his lead); which is things that others that were fearful of Bill couldn’t do. He had strong beliefs and wouldn’t let anyone make him change the way he thought. The characteristics of McGloin are harmful to society because unlike Amsterdam, and followed Bill out of fear. He also didn’t like the fact that Irish and blacks were bonding together to stand up to the Natives, because the Irish weren’t supposed to be with Blacks. A true American is someone who stands up for their beliefs, doesn’t discriminate or go against other races (racist), and never gives up. Amsterdam Vallon is a true American because he showed all those qualities/traits, and he also took Leadership in leading the Irish to equality. He learned throughout the movie that the people of the city are the ones who make it great, as he stated “My father said we was born of blood and tribulations; and so too was our great