History of the American Mafia

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History of the American Mafia

Imagine living in a world where crime ruled. A world where gangsters were more powerful than politicians, owned the police, and ran the city in whatever way they felt. They robbed whom they wanted and killed when they didn't get their way. Now stop imagining and realize that this happened here in the United States of America in the 1920's. It was run by an organization made up mainly of Italians called the Mafia.

The word Mafia itself has many meanings. In Arabic it means "refuge", which refers to the origins of the Mafia as a society that fled to the hills of Italy to avoid attack. Some Italians hold it as a word of high respect implying strength, courage, agility, quickness, endurance, and intelligence (Brief History 2). This is why being a member of the Mafia is such an honor to its members. Another meaning of the word refers to the Mafia's origins as an acronym in Italian, Morte Alla Franciese Italia Annela. This translates to "Death to French is Italy's Cry" in reference to Italian's distaste for the French during their invasions in the 1800's.

The Mafia originated in Sicily as a secret society to unite Sicilian natives against invasions by France and Arabs in the late 1800's. These Mafia members led a revolt against the French and Arabs and gained power over time. As time progressed, the Mafia controlled the government, banks, and police activity and turned to crime for profit. A Mafia-run Sicily prospered until the rise of Benito Mussolini. As an advocate of socialism, he began to crack down on Mafia activity in Italy (Brief History 2). This forced many of the prominent mob bosses to flee America where they would prosper for a decade and a half.

As complicated as it...

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