Organized Crime In The 1800s

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Organized crime has been present in the history of the United States and can be traced back to the streets of the early 1800’s. Organized crime occurs when a group of people congregate together and plan to commit a series of crimes to make money, usually illegally. Organized crime groups have evolved over time from small rackets to grand organizations like the Italian Mafia. Crime particularly began to become prominent in urban areas during the prohibition. Organized crime is still just as visible today as it was back in the early 1800’s. The first successful organized crime group was the Forty Thieves of New York. This group “formed as hundreds of immigrants came together for their own protection and financial gain.” Organized crime became …show more content…

The Mafia, just like the Forty Thieves, was a tight group of immigrants living together hoping to make money and exploit anything they could. “"Mafia" was originally the name of a loose association of Sicilians in the middle ages who collaborated for protection and vigilante law enforcement during the Spanish occupation of the island.” The Mafia was particularly centered in large cities like New York. Italian immigrants came to America looking for a better life with greater opportunities. “In New York City alone, the number of Italians soared from 20,000 to 250,000 between 1880 and 1890, and by 1910, that number had jumped to 500,000 immigrants.” The increase in the number of Italians in New York meant there was a greater chance that they could potentially break the law and join …show more content…

“In January of 1920 the American government banned the sale and supply of alcohol, the government thought that this would curb crime and violence, prohibition did not achieve it’s goals, leading more toward higher crime rates and excessive violence.” The prohibition made bootlegging, the illegal trade and sale of alcohol a popular activity among the Mafia and other gangs. The distribution of alcohol turned out to be more complex than other criminal activities. Gangs attempted to secure large territories where they could establish a monopoly of

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