It is believed that modern organized crime began in Italy in the 19th Century with the Sicilian group La Cosa Notra and other Sicilian mafia were more powerful than the Italian government. When Mussolini rose to power he ran out the Italian mafia and many fled to the United States. In 1970, Congress passed the Organized Crime Control Act. The acts purpose was to eradicate organized crime by expanding evidence gathering tools, including more acts as being crimes, enhancing penalties, and allowing the forfeiture of products owned by criminal enterprises. The Rackateer Influenced and Corrupts Organizations Act (RICO) was also a cornerstorne in the fight against organized crime.
(Widener 6) Migration from Italy, has brought over many Italian criminals and crime tactics. The Italian Mafia has always been based on the island of Sicily and the southern mainland provinces of Calabria and Campania. (Worsnop 273) Traffic in drugs, chiefly heroin, provides the bulk of the Italian Mafia's revenue from Sicily. Cocaine is becoming more important, however, as drug lords from Colombia try to expand beyond the Americas. To gain a foothold in Europe, the Colombians have got to strike deals with the Mafia, which ironically guards its home turf.
Sneaking mobsters in our government to spread corruption, destroying rival businesses, and assassinating nation’s leaders are just some of the few things the mafia has done to America. During the cold war the spread of communism was a fear for many Americans. The mafia decided to take advantage of this and decided to strike a deal with the government. “In 1945 and 1955 43 socialists and communists were murdered in Sicily, often at election time.” (Quoted in Stille 1995: 19). The government hired assassins to kill communist politicians in Italy ultimately changing how their country’s government.
President Harrison who disproved of the vigilantes and gave a large cash settlement to the families ... ... middle of paper ... ...ia consists of a large group of glorified thieves, pickpockets and murderers. Although it began with the adoption of much of the Sicilian heritage it has evolved into an organization that's sole purpose is to make money using any illegal means possible. The members of the American Mafia use extortion, bootlegging, prostitution, gambling, kidnapping, and murder to achieve their ends. The above research has shown that the Mafia has become a wide spread problem. The Mafia has continued to grow and infest our society from the early 1900's.
One of the most recognizable examples is the bootlegging of alcohol during the Prohibition. When federal officials attempted to enforce legislation such as the Volstead Act, there was a surge of illegal sales and profits. In 1927, Al Capone and his gang racked up over $60 million from bootlegged alcohol. With all of this money came tons of violence, people were getting murdered in broad daylight just so others could have a sum of all of this wealth. Soon Mob families would own clubs or casinos to increase their wealth.
The Mafia: Wealth and Politics in the 1920 MAFIA - "a secret association having for its object the illicit control of any enterprise, legitimate or illegitimate, which it decides to infiltrate" (Allen 6). The decade of the 1920s was full of deception, corruption, and degeneration. The very embodiment of these qualities was the institution of the Italian-American Mafia. The syndicate began in Sicily and spread to encompass United States politics and the national economy. The post war era left the nation in a recession and vulnerable to organized crime.
During the 1700's, Mafia leaders began to force their way to the head positions in the Sicilian government and used government funds for their own private endeavours. In the early 1900's, when Mussolini and the Fascists came to power, he vowed to rid the country of all the Mafia. Keeping this in mind, and the fact that there was money to be made through extortion, prostitution, gambling and bootlegging in the United States, many Mafioso's decided to come west to America. Charles "Lucky" Luciano, the eventual organizer of the New York Mafia, was born in Sicily in 1897, and came to New York. Luciano climbed the "criminal ladder" and by 1935, he was known ... ... middle of paper ... ...titution was so profitable, because it offered the most easily marketable and vendible product in the world; sex.
American Mafia “Wherever there’s opportunity, the mafia will be there” (Johnny Kelly). The identity of organized crime has changed through history due to the power of the Mafia. The American Mafia have impacted and influenced America’s culture and how they see crime today. The Mafia have mainly affected culture, films, books, crime, and politics. The Mafia is one of the most ruthless, influential, and dangerous organized crime groups to ever be in America.
The Sopranos and the Perpetuated Mafiosi Image A life of organized crime, fancy cars, machine guns, beautiful women, money, power and family; these are the images that have perpetuated the associations of Italian-Americans with the Mafia in film and television for decades. It is in this traditional Godfather fashion that the HBO hit series The Sopranos continues to perpetuate this stereotypical image into the 21st century. From classic films like The Godfather and Goodfellas, to miniseries events like Bella Mafia and The Last Don, to the dramatic series The Sopranos, Italian-Americans have traditionally been portrayed as gangsters and mobsters and have been seen living the lives of organized criminals. Italian-Americans and the Mafia have traditionally been linked in popular culture and The Sopranos is no exception. "It's undeniable that the dominant pop-culture images of Italian-Americans have been the mobster and the related, anti-working class stereotype of the boorish gavone" (De Stefano 32).
“Don (term for the boss or head of a Mafia family) Vito Cascio Ferro fled to the United States in 1901 to escape arrest. He is known as the Father of American Mafia.” (La Cosa Nostra) Many Italian immigrants came to the United States through Ellis Island in New York, which is today the most important center of organized Mafia crime in the United States. The new American Mafia came to power during the Prohibition by organizing the sale of outlawed alcohol, but after Prohibition was revoked, the Mafia needed a new “racket.” During the war, the Mafia got government issued ration stamps and sold them on the black market. These days the Mafia is involved in running prostitution, unions, construction, and gambling. New York, also called the “City that never sleeps,” houses the Five Families of New York.