Italian Mafia

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Italian Mafia

The Mafia was first developed in Sicily in feudal times to protect the estates of landlords who were out of town. The word Mafia, derived from the Sicilian word, Mafioso, means family. Today, Mafia is a name which describes a loose association of criminal groups. These groups can be bound together by blood, oath or sworn secrecy. Many people had considered the Sicilian Mafia as the most ruthless mobsters of the twentieth century.

By the nineteenth century, the Mafia had become known as a network of criminal thugs that dominated the Sicilian countryside. Members of the Mafia were bound by Omerta. Omerta, an Italian word, stands for a strict code of conduct. The code include avoiding all contact or cooperation with authorities.

In the beginning the Mafia had no centralized organization. It consisted of many small groups. Each of these groups was considered as a district. And, each of these districts, had its own form of government. The Mafia had gained their strong-arm by using scare tactics amongst the people. By using these terroristic methods against peasants who could vote, the Mafia used this upper hand in placing themselves into political offices. They would achieve this in several communities. Using this political power in their advantage, the Mafia was able to gain influence with police authorities and the ability to obtain legal access to weapons.

Benito Mussolini was the premier-dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943. He was the founder and leader of Italian Fascism. Mussolini, along with his Facets government, was able to successfully suppress the Mafia during the time of World War II. However, after the war ended in 1945, the Mafia emerged and ruled once again. Over the next thirty years, the Sicilian Mafia was not only able to gain control Sicily, but all of Italy as well.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, America had the largest number of immigrants moving to the United States ever known. There is a recorded three million Irish, four million Italians, and four million Jews that immigrated to the United States during the later half of the nineteenth century. People immigrated for a number of reasons. Many of them dreamed of leaving behind their old worlds. Worlds of oppression, fear, and crime.

Unfortunately, this dream was shattered for many of the immigrants. For those who migrated to Chicago, severa...

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... the rest of his life in his mansion in Miami Beach, Florida. A great contribution to the Chicago Mafia died alone in 1947.

In the early 1980's, the Italian government launched an anti-Mafia campaign throughout all of Italy. Not only did this lead to a number of arrests and trials, but it also was the reason for several assignations of key law-enforcement officials whom were in retaliation.

For the past two decades, both America and Italy have been cracking down on the organized crime group known as the Mafia. Criminal activities concerning those involved in the Mafia have declined dramatically.

The modern underworld crime of today consists of business men and women with a strong knowledge of computers. Old world ways such as killing, riots, and vendetta have been done away with. Today's "mobsters" are highly educated extortionists dressed in suites.

The old ways of organized crime will never be the same again. The desire, need, brutality, wisdom, and style of what we know as the Italian Mafia only exists in books and movies. In my opinion, the time of the Prohibition was, and always will be the most recognizable time of the underworld because of the Italian Mafia.
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