Is the movie Gangs of New York historically accurate? Please provide examples.

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Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York is loosely based on 19th-century events, but the early 20th-century account of life at Five Points, New York that the film is based on is partly fictionalized and exaggerated. Although the costumes and scenery are fairly accurate for the period (apart from the catacombs...

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Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York is loosely based on 19th-century events, but the early 20th-century account of life at Five Points, New York that the film is based on is partly fictionalized and exaggerated.

Although the costumes and scenery are fairly accurate for the period (apart from the catacombs in the Bowery), the extent and frequency of the riots and violence are not. Five Points was a working-class neighborhood where people generally had jobs. Riots on election days and extensive voter fraud are well-attested, however.

The main social cleavages were between Protestant natives and Irish and German Catholic immigrants. The Protestants viewed themselves as the only real Americans, while the Irish and German Catholics organized and rioted to overwhelm them at the polls. Slavery was another major point of contention. The native Protestants were generally anti-slavery, while the immigrants generally supported slavery, as they viewed black people as unwanted competition for working-class jobs.

The director takes an expected amount of artistic license with characters that are only loosely based on real people, but the overall themes of the conflicts are accurate.

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