Mobsters started running very illegal monopolies as a living and hiring common people to do their dirty work. This lead to some very serious gang related violence. Due to all of this occurring at the same time, it changed the way in which police forces were ran. Prohibition led to widespread organized crime in the 1920s and 1930s because it opened up an illegal monopoly for gangs, initiated gang related violence, and the change it the way police forces operated, forever changing America as a result. Big time Mobsters began setting up some big ideas for big business.
Violence bloomed, illegal acts flourished, america was in a time of huge unrest: The Prohibition Act. The Prohibition Act which occurred in the 1920’s, started a time in America of immense struggles and obstacles. The government decided to outlaw and ban Alcoholic beverages. This did not reduce crime as intended, but rather it increased it at an unforeseen pace. Bootleg alcohol became very prevalent on the black market as well as mobs started appearing across the country.
A Time of Grieving With its increase in organized crime, notorious icons, and unhealthy lifestyle, the Era of Prohibition represented the Roaring Twenties which F. Scott Fitzgerald vividly portrayed in The Great Gatsby. Alcoholic beverages were illegal in the Roaring Twenties, which caused many Americans to develop hidden bars or speakeasies to drink their alcoholic beverages. The number of speakeasies increased tremendously when the Prohibition Act was established. The high number of speakeasies caused organized activity to increase during the Roaring Twenties. “Speakeasies for illicit drinking sprang up, and organized crime activity increased…” (Hutchinson Encyclopedia).
In the short-term, it had increased the wealth of the United States. Many people still wanted to dink, and would like to get hold of some alcohol which Prohibition had banned. This linked to the fact that organised crime was on the increase, because, gang that were willing to break the law, saw the opportunity, and were willing to supply the public demand - illegally. This was a social factor. The gangsters often came from poor immigrant backgrounds, and were ruthless.
Gang violence increased as many capitalized on this new market the distribution of crack cocaine. Neighborhoods in gang infested Los Angeles areas were not immune to the violence of gangs. The Rolling 60’s were one of the first cliques or sets to take root in the Los Angeles area of South Central. Adopting their name from the numbered streets between Slauson and Florence avenues. In those days the Rolling 60’s could be vicious in the defense of their neighborhood.
The crime rate went up because the profit motivated people to get involved with illegal activities (Organized Crime and Prohibition 1). Prohibition helped organized crimes because, even though alcohol was illegal, it’s availability through these crime groups, gangs, were satisfying the peoples’ want of alcohol (Sifakis 725). Bootlegging was a major pastime in America especially during the Prohibition. A bootlegger was someone who engaged themselves in illegal alcohol deliveries. The criminals used bootlegging activities as a business to gain as much profit for themselves as a person possibly could gain.
Prohibition halted the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages because it was made legally prohibited. (Danzer 642) Therefore, because of the provisions of the Prohibition movement, organized crime escalated dramatically in the United States during the 1920s. “The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs.
There were high crime rates and fighting problems” (Dannenbaum). Some people blamed the root of this violence to be alcohol, “In the past, crime and alcohol were associated and was believed that alcohol was the main source of evil power” (Dannenbaum). Many citizens believed that alcohol was a central factor in bad decision making. People used this angle of violence and alcohol to pave the road for the Prohibition. Many did not just want a gradual decrease in the production and distribution of alcohol, but wanted it stopped swiftly and instantaneously.
Prohibition was a period of time in which the sale, manufacture, or transport of alcoholic beverages became illegal. It started January 16, 1919 and continued to December 5, 1933. Although it was designed to put an end to all drinking, it simply created a large number of bootleggers who produced and sold illegal alcohol. Many of these bootleggers became very rich and influential through selling alcohol and also through other methods. They pioneered the practices of organized crime that are still used today.