The American Mafia In The 1900's

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The United States of America is infamously known to have been the home of perhaps the strongest Mafia community from the early to mid-1900s. Through this article we’ll take a look at what led to the rise of such a dominant, powerful and most importantly, organized underworld in the United States, and the various consequences it had on the economy as well as politics. The American Mafia in the early 1900s was essentially an extension of the Italian Camorra of the time. The majority of the Italians who immigrated to America at that time were Sicilians. In the 1900s, the Sicilian Mafia, back in Italy, grew powerful and was able to spread their influence throughout the country due to the widespread unemployment and poverty that encompassed not…show more content…
New York and Chicago soon became the two biggest and most important centres of their operations. These two states would later go on to have two of the biggest crime leaders ever known – Charles Luciano and Al Capone. The Mafia’s sources of income were diverse. It included gambling, loan sharking, money laundering, prostitution, racketeering, extortion, and the most important and lucrative – bootlegging. Bootlegging gave rise to the Golden Age of the American Mafia. Let’s take a look at…show more content…
And the reason for this is simple – family. As the mafia used to operate in families, hierarchy was easy to maintain, which was crucial for the smooth functioning of business. The eldest male member was usually the boss, with his son as the underboss. The families used to have a ‘consigliere’, who was essentially a close friend or relative who used to provide important advice. The consigliere was often a lawyer by profession. The post-war period also saw many soldiers who fought for the United States unable to find employment once they were back. These ex-servicemen were often hired by the Italian crime families to serve as efficient hitmen (those who were paid to kill) and bodyguards. In most cases, these hitmen proved to be much more skilled with weaponry than the local

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