Brett Boush English 11 Miss Steiner Mr. Hendershot March 25, 2014 Organized Crime in the 1920s and 1930s Organized Crime in the 1920s and 1930s Have you ever wondered what it would be like in an America with no alcohol? Prohibition greatly impacted America when it was introduced and has continued to affect it since then. The spark from prohibition striking America introduced a widespread plague of organized crime. With organized crime came many changes in the lives from all Americans then until this very day, and continues to affect all of us. Mobsters started running very illegal monopolies as a living and hiring common people to do their dirty work.
Capone expanded his control into the suburbs to the extend that some places became known as “Caponeville.”# When Torrio was shot by rival gang members and consequently decided to leave Chicago and the “outfit”, he reportedly told Capone, “It’s all yours, Al.” # Prohibition did not create organized crime#. However, it did create a new opportunity for lawbreakers and for the spread of criminal activity. It allowed Capone to expand his force and gain incredible power over the city of Chicago. P... ... middle of paper ... ...ion for the years 1925-1929 and for failing to file tax returns for the years 1928 and 1929. The Department of Justice also charged him with conspiracy to violate Prohibition laws from 1922-1931.# Although Capone had his lawyers offer to settle his tax claims for four million dollars, the Treasury Department was not willing to make any deals.
His uncle was shot by his rival, which gave the business to Torrio. They both created the selling of illegal alcohol in the city of Chicago (Haller 359). This impacted the U.S. because it gave many men and women beverages for their needs. Capone developed contacts to obtain imported liquor from Detroit, New York, and Miami (Haller 360). These purchases gave Capone power and wealth because he sold alcohol all over Chicago.
During World War I, the U.S. set rations on sugar and grain leading to a prohibition on alcohol. Gangsters began ordering shipments of illegal alcohol and selling them for large sums of money. When the prohibition continued after the war, large gangs and crime began to arise in major cities (Trespacz 33-37). The city of Chicago was split into different fighting gangs led by mob bosses. The south territory was led by Al Capone, and his rival Bugs Moran ran northern Chicago.
Many officials ended up being bribed into not reporting the bootleggers, which did not reduce the crime at all. The second reason for the failure of prohibition was that gangs and criminals moved into the bootleg business, and were making so much money that they were feared and would also bribe the authorities, judges and officials to co-operate with them. The gangsters caused massacres and the St Valentines Massacre was a turning point for prohibition. People started to realise the dramatic failure of the law, and so when the Wall Street crash and the depression hit the USA in the early 1930s' it was obvious that legalising alcohol would create jobs helping people out of the depression. With all these problems, people were still getting drunk, so even with the law drunkenness hardly decreased.
(Appendix II) The 18th amendment was the first and only amendment repealed by the constitution, allowing people to possess, sell, and buy their own alcohol. Prohibition not only failed in its promises of providing a solution to poverty, crime, violence, and other ills during the 20th century, but it actually increased and created additional social problems. There are many contributions to the passing of the 21st amendment, although the main reason for repealing prohibition was crime. The most significant causes in the increase in crime because of prohibition were several notorious criminals including George Remus and AL Capone. Prohibition was added to the constitution in hopes to control crime and corruption in the United States, although it had the opposite effect.
This could almost be deemed as a fail in american history, because America created a whole bunch of new conflicts that were not their before. Bootleg alcohol, the mafia, al Capone. These things only aroused because of the Prohibition Act. So all in all, the prohibition act caused more crime, by having Alcohol need to be sold illegal, the rise of the mafia, and just the anger by all Americans.
The decline of alcohol consumption was partly an illusion due to the fact that it sharply increased by the penultimate years of Prohibition, suggested that the demand of alcohol was so strong, which led to the rise of organised crime, such as bootlegging, speakeasies and criminal gangs. Ultimately, Prohibition was not a healthy move because many people decided to turn to more dangerous substitutes such as heroin, hashish and cannabis. This had serious health consequences, such as addiction and shortened life expectancy. Due to the immense geographical size of America, prohibition was difficult to enforce, which also led to corruption. The limited number of underpaid police officers were usually bribed by illegal establishments to remain silent.
The Mafia was more than just an influential group of the 1920’s and 1930’s because it contributed to society in the past and continues to affect the present. The Prohibition period, a time when the sale of alcohol was illegal, was the Mafia’s first opportunity to rise above the average person. The Prohibition era allowed the Mafia to grow by giving them the chance to plan and distribute illegal substances (Mooney 14). Here, the Mafia could hire “bootleggers” and send them to do their illegal bidding while using any idea imaginable to disguise their trucks of alcohol (Lunde 131). The Mafia also used biker gangs to disguise themselves in order to transport their illegal liquor (Black 38).
When prohibition began, the public outraged, demanded for the ban on alcohol to be removed, if they couldn’t make it happen they would try alternate solutio... ... middle of paper ... ... funds that he had acquired from his bootlegging operations, he was able to ensure his friends were elected to certain political positions, which in turn, amplified his control over Chicago and which ensure his safety for soliciting money for his liquor. Finally after a decade of prohibition Alcohol was finally made legal again by the Twenty First Amendment on December 1933. But the damage was done, Prohibition led to organized crime, as we know it today. Men like Al Capone got their start during Prohibition and were able to develop a system whose methods led into the Mafia and other ways of modern day crime. Organized Crime developed due to the restriction of alcohol and the only reason why crime grew in America was because the public allowed it.