More than anything, the film demonstrates the great contention that existed between various different factions within the city. Ones ability to associate with one faction or another, one organization or another, often determined where you could live, what kind of crime youd be involved in, and sometimes what type of weapon you would use.
Despite these deep issues between the factions in the streets, which caused those suffering from them the greatest, the people of the streets fight against the presidents attempts to bring the people together and the wealthy view them as a side show. The wealthy are led on tours through the five points area and otherwise, viewing the people of the area as highly interchangeable. While the government attempts to conscript members of the community into the ranks of the army to fight for freedom of all citizens, the people of the streets were dividing into those for the butcher, the native Americans, and those for the Irish, who at the least recognized the voting power of the influx of the immigrants. The mob that attacks is seen as nothing but a group of rats by the rich, but the rich have no defenses against them until they order soldiers and the ships to open fire. Suddenly, all the people of the streets, wealthy or poor, native or Irish or Black or Chinese, are all the same in the blowing dust and