Organized Crime has for nearly one hundred years h
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Organized Crime has for nearly one hundred years held an unseen control over the United States. Running both illegal and legal businesses they have captivated the lives of the country. Here is an overview of the history of this power that knows everything and everyone that has power or wishes to rise to power.
The beginning of organized crime goes back to the 13th century. The Mafia was formed in Sicily to help farmers from being terrorized by French and Spanish looters (Waller, p.16). It was not until the 19th century that the Mafia began to show up in cities like New York and New Orleans. By World War I, every major city had powerful local gangs, not necessarily a Mafia group.
The Mafia\'s discipline held all of the gangs together. The Mafia had only two major objections dealing with crime. There was to be no drug dealers in the Mafia and prostitiution was not allowed. The cheif weapons of the Mafia were death threats and the code of omerta\'(the code of silence). When omerta\' was broken, the police cleaned up the mess while the rival gang took over.
Prohibition brought the birth of organized crime to the United States. Prohibition was ratified on January 29, 1919 but didn\'t take hold until 1920 (Compton\'s,p.1). Prohibition, which was the 18th Amendment of the Constitution, made it illegal to buy, sell, or transport alcoholic beverages. It also opened a new market for illegal booze to those who would risk it. Prohibition also proved to be filled with murder and corruption. Men like Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Al Capone, Meyer Lansky, and Vito Genovese got started during this time.
Prohibition began with the sale of foreign booze that was smuggled into the country. After several raids and many thousands of dollars lost, the mob turned to more producing of their own illegal alcohol. Bootlegged whiskey was known as "white lightning" (Waller,p.29). Illegal alcohol was sold two ways: you could put it in bottles or it was sent to the taverns in tin cans.
The highly violent city of Chicago had been divided up into five different turf areas for bootleggers. This agreement would have worked out except that one major bootlegger was excluded from the deal. The O\' Donnell brothers had controlled the southern most area of Chicago but had not been allowed to join the meeting. This group of brothers eventually met their match after many years of war.
The city of Chicago had been split up between six gangs. It was an agreement over areas of control. The noth side of Chicago was divided between Al Capone and Dion O\'Banion. O\'Banion was to control the beer while Capone controlled the hard liquor. This eventually led to the death of O\'Banion. The south side of the city was ran by the Genna family. The west side was controlled by the Valley Gang while the southwest side was ran by the Saltis-McErlane Gang. To the far south side the Ragen\'s Colts controlled the bootlegging industry (Waller,p.31).
During this time, a new weapon came into play. The Thompson submachine gun, also known as the tommy gun or chopper, became a major factor in criminal activity. This machine gun also became known as the Chicago violin because of its heavy use in the city.
It was a sad day for several organized gangs when Prohibition was repealed. On December 5, 1933 the 21st Amendment was passed making it legal to buy, sell, and transport alcoholic beverages. The fourteen years of Prohibition had made the mob and Mafia grow powerful and rich.
One of the most famous mobsters of all time was Al Capone. Born Alphonse Capone in Brooklyn, New York, he was the son of immigrants from Naples, Italy (Waller, p.27). Although Capone was of Italian descent, he was never a member of the Mafia.
As a teenager Al Capone was involved with crime. His first crime job was as a bouncer in a mob bar called Harvard Inn (Waller, p.27). In 1918, Capone married a woman of Irish background. Then in the early part of 1919, Al Capone moved to Chicago with John Torrio to work for Torrio\'s uncle.
Once Capone got his bootlegging business running he came in contact with his first rival, Dion O\'Banion. After several problems with the Chicago police, Capone moved
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Organized crime, Mobsters, Crime, Five Points Gang, The Untouchables, Al Capone, Genovese crime family, Bootleggers, Johnny Torrio, Joseph Saltis, Saint Valentines Day Massacre, Dean OBanion
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