History of the American Mafia Essay

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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…show more content…
This code states that all family-based activities are above all domestic family matters in the home, it enforces silence, a strike upon another member is like a strike on the boss himself. Violating any of these laws is punishable by death with no trial or remorse (Whizkid01 3). This one value is what kept Mafia families powerful and prosperous. As the Mafia grew in America, they prospered off illegal gambling and prostitution. It wasn't until 1919 with the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that the Mafia really gained power. The 18th amendment banned the distribution and manufacturing of alcoholic beverages in America (Prohibition 2). Although this amendment meant nothing but good, it did the exact opposite to America. While politicians saw an improved nation with this amendment, criminals saw green. Americans now thought drinking as a thrill, it was something illegal that they can do but get away with. It was the rush of getting away with it that made speakeasies so popular. Speakeasies were Mafia-run entertainment clubs, consisting of an open bar of the finest bootlegged liquor along with dining and entertainment (Prohibition 5). One of the most successful Mafia bosses involved in bootlegging and prostitution was Charles "Lucky" Luciano. He was born in 1897 in Sicily, Italy. At the age of 9 he moved to the Lower East Side of New York. In 1920 he began his own prostitution

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