History of the FBI Essay

History of the FBI Essay

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The early 1900’s gave rise to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Founded in appalling times filled with tension, the FBI would slowly transform American law to apprehend the nation’s most notorious criminals, and become one of the vital agencies that protect American sovereignty.

Influenced by the Progressive Movement and the belief that the federal government’s intervention was required to alleviate injustices in a dark society of corruption where a war between capital and labor raged, President Roosevelt signed Attorney General Charles Bonaparte an unnamed squad of special agents. The squad grew slowly, with its agents poorly trained, mismanaged, undisciplined, and mainly experienced in accounting and the civil rights fields. This made investigating difficult and in order to build a case Bonaparte had to use the help of special agents belonging to the Secret Service, which congress later denied the loaning of operatives. In 1909, Bonaparte’s forces came to work under the Department of Justice, formally giving birth to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

For its first fifteen years, the FBI was responsible for investigating “white collar and civil right cases, antitrust, land fraud, banking fraud, copyright, peonage” (book). The reason for these investigations resulted because the FBI derived its jurisdiction from the Interstate Commerce Act, designed to regulate the growing power of corporations and unfair practices, nevertheless their authority was only limited to companies that operated across state lines. As time progressed, the FBI’s responsibilities and its jurisdiction broadened with its induction by Congress to the Department of Justice, and with that, a personnel increase from 34 to 360 agents. (BOOK) The Whit...


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...ity had grown to protect domestic level and national level crimes like terrorism. The most recent that changed the complexity of the FBI’s view of counterterrorism being 9/11, which caused for a new way to adapt and prevent terroristic attacks, and dismantling enemies with partners overseas through bits of intelligence and information. (Book)

Today the FBI is a vital agency responsible for investigating and stopping terrorism, foreign intelligence threats, cybercrimes, and enforcing criminal law at federal, state, and local levels. Starting off small, the FBI has made it’s way through experience and seen it all- from civil right violations, gangsters and drug trafficking, serial killers, foreign spies in the US, sexual predators, and terrorist from across the world- becoming a very successful and complex organization vital to the United States national security.

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