Effects Of Organized Crime During Prohibition

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Organized Crime During Prohibition

Organized crime existed long before the 1920’s, but it wasn’t as organized or as huge. Their rise in America was mostly due to bootlegging. Prohibition allowed organized crime to flourish and increase its effectiveness.
Organized crime greatly affected, and was affected by, prohibition. “Prohibition was a unique economic opening for this generation- an opening unlike anything that previous generations of criminals had known, an opportunity whereby a man who might today be described as an underachiever or social misfit could achieve status”(Mappen 4). Gangsters kept the sale of alcohol going during prohibition, usually through speakeasies which were bars that sold alcohol, which allowed them to become well-known.
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After Prohibition, gangsters were known throughout the country. Prohibition led to the rise of many gangsters, including Waxey Gordon, who became a wealthy bootlegger (Mappen 225). Bootleggers like Gordon made trillions a year because they had a monopoly on alcohol. Prohibition gave rise to the establishment of the first nationwide criminal syndicate (Okrent 4). Gangsters helped end prohibition by selling alcohol which made the government realize that prohibition was not working.
Organized crime also affected Chicago. “Chicago was notorious for its prostitution industry” (Mappen 11). The rise of organized crime also led to the rise of Chicago’s notoriety. “As alcohol was sold all around them, police officers, public officials, judges, and politicians took bribes or looked the other way” (Blumenthal 3). Organized crime led to the corruption of politicians and public officials in Chicago, which is still present today. “To combat the increasing gangster chic, the Chicago Crime commission ingenuously countered by declaring them ‘public enemies,’… Celebrity criminals of the ‘public enemy’ era taught America that while crime
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“In Detroit that same night, federal officers shut down two illegal stills (an act that would become common in the years ahead) and reported that their operators had offered bribes (which would become even more common)” (Okrent 2). The rise of organized crime changed other cities, like Detroit, where corruption also arose and where it still occurs today. “Outlawing intoxicants gave America not the era of ‘clear thinking and clean living’ that idealists promised. Instead, it vastly increased political and police corruption, transformed drunkenness from a working-class vice into a form of middle-class rebellion, and laid the foundation for nationally organized crime...They were symbols of their era” (Helmer 14). Gangsters became a symbol for the 1920’s and Prohibition because that was when they started to organize and when they became known all over the country. “Crime brought out tensions between the city and the Jewish community, as well as rifts between Reform and Orthodox. Respectively, then, it illuminated the gentile’s perception of the city’s Jews, and vice versa, while also shaping the identity of the West Side community” (Garel-Frantzen 13). Organized crime also changed the Jewish community in New York City and created rifts inside the Jewish community and with non-Jewish people. The rise of the Jewish Mafia was because of

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