History Of The American Mafia Essay

2015 words - 8 pages

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 intelligence (Brief History 2). This is why being a member of the Mafia is such an honor to its members. Another meaning of the word refers to the Mafia's origins as an acronym in Italian, Morte Alla Franciese Italia Annela. This translates to "Death to French is Italy's Cry" in reference to Italian's distaste for the French during their invasions in the 1800's.
The Mafia originated in Sicily as a secret society to unite Sicilian natives against invasions by France and Arabs in the late 1800's. These Mafia members led a revolt against the French and Arabs and gained power over time. As time progressed, the Mafia controlled the government, banks, and police activity and turned to crime for profit. A Mafia-run Sicily prospered until the rise of Benito Mussolini. As an advocate of socialism, he began to crack down on Mafia activity in Italy (Brief History 2). This forced many of the prominent mob bosses to flee America where they would prosper for a decade and a half.
As complicated as it might be, the Mafia revolves around one basic principle called Omerta. Omerta is an oath in which every official member of the Mafia must be sworn in under. 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,...

Find Another Essay On History of the American Mafia

A history and internal analysis of the workings of the Mafia

2716 words - 11 pages Mafia tends to be the first conjured reference to organized crime by the general populus. It does not limit itself solely to this island as the Mafia also has a rich history in the United States where it continues to thrive. The Japanese Yakuza in existence since the 1600s, with origins yet again originating from a band of 'Robin Hood' style bandits, is a conglomerate of syndicates that controls a large variety of rackets, and rivals the Italian

This Is A Research Essay About The Mafia And The People And Events In It. It Mentions Many Of The Biggest Names In The History Of The Mafia. It Also Enlightens Us To The Early Beginning Of The Mafia

2007 words - 9 pages From the beginning to the end, the mafia has left an impression on our society. The history of the Mafia is not definite but many believe that the Mafia was born in order to protect and help the less fortunate. The origins of the mafia date back to the ninth century when Sicily was ruled by Arabic forces. This is when the mafia arose, in efforts to gain back their freedom. Even after the mafia gained freedom from the Arabic forces, there were

The Mafia of the Prohibition Era

2203 words - 9 pages a destined path for the Sicilian mobsters. New York City became the new breeding ground for the Italian life of crime, and with the influence of the Sicilian Mafia before it, the American Mafia was born. As the term “American Mafia” became established, various names in the industry began to emerge. Some have become known in common culture as “the face” of crime during the Prohibition era, while others are forgotten in history. Lots of these

Death of JFK, CIA/Mafia combined conspiracy - Modern history - Assignment

1398 words - 6 pages The CIA, The Mafia, and The Assassination The assassination of United States president John Fitzgerald Kennedy was orchestrated and planned by the joint cooperation of the American Mafia and the Central Intelligence Agency, their aligned motives and opportunity combined with the “patsy” of Lee Harvey Oswald are more convincing than any other conspiracy theory. Lee Harvey Oswald’s ties and sympathies towards communism corroborate evidence

The Hierarchy of a Mafia Family

678 words - 3 pages A mafia family has a very intricate structure of power. Often it varies based on the particular family, but most have the same general configuration. At the top of the family is the boss. The boss is followed by an underboss that controls the capos underneath him. Each capo is over a certain number of soldiers. The soldiers control the business done with the associates. Another key player is the consigliere. This person serves as an ‘unbiased

The Social Workings of the Sicilian Mafia, from its Beginnings to Today

4120 words - 16 pages straightforward story about the formation of the Mafia. One man did not simply form the Mafia and declare himself its Don. We must look at the history of Sicily in order to really understand how this island became a Mecca for corruption and crime. The lack of order in this Italian state made it vulnerable and, therefore, it was susceptible to takeover. However, the Mafia did not take over the Sicilian state in the traditional sense; they have used

History of the American Government

1606 words - 6 pages History of the American Government More than 200 years ago, the 13 original states approved the first constitution that united them into the United States of America. However, many things have happened before and after that which have combined to make the United States what it is today. As the New World was being settled, the original colonists who came over were mainly Englishmen. Coming in great numbers and for many different reasons

The History of American Cinema

1867 words - 7 pages -2001), an American film critic wrote “The success of a movie like the Sound of Music makes it even more difficult for anyone to try to do anything worth doing, anything relevant to the modern world, anything inventive or expressive.” (223, Gianetti) The attempts by Hollywood to portray anything realistic were also over the top regarding budget and star power, Judgment at Nuremburg (1961) was an epic movie retelling the history of the war

The History of the American Labor Union

2711 words - 11 pages John Ellis Williams Mr. Richard Baker Principles of Microeconomics Monday & Wednesday 1:00 PM 31 March 2014   John Ellis Williams Mr. Richard Baker Principles of Microeconomics MW 1:00 31 March 2014 The History of the American Labor Union Beginning in the late 1700’s and growing rapidly even today, labor unions form the backbone for the American workforce and continue to fight for the common interests of workers around the country. As we

The History of the American Civil War

1179 words - 5 pages The American Civil war, also know as the War Between the States, was a bloody war to end slavery. It all started with eleven states seceding from the Union to form their own nation to be able to enslave the African American. The eleven states formed the Confederate States of America, also known as Confederacy, under their president Jefferson Davis. The Civil war came about in 1861 as the North wanted stop the eleven southern states from seceding

Mafia

1405 words - 6 pages mobsters replaced Al Capone’s Chicago mob as America’s most visible crime syndicate more than 50 years ago, powerful 5 Latin American drug lords have eclipsed the Mafia. The Mafia was never a good thing for America, but since new bosses are not following the code of omerta the public is put in danger more than ever before. Some feel that if the Mafia and this "thing of theirs" was truly out of business it would be the end of a criminal

Similar Essays

History Of The American Mafia Essay

1969 words - 8 pages Sicily. He is known as the Father of the American Mafia. In 1924, Mussolini was determined to rid Italy of the Mafia so many members fled to the United States to avoid persecution . This increased the numbers of members in the organization.These fleeing Italians were well aware there was money to be made in the United States through extortion, prostitution, gambling and bootlegging. Every large city soon had its own Mafia chapter. Prohibition which

History On The Mafia Essay

3912 words - 16 pages IntroductionThe world the Mafia has always held such fascination for most of us, probably ever since the first time we saw gangster themed movies. The popular view of the Mafia, as prompted by the media, regards them as dangerous, mysterious, exciting, and held together by family ties which explains why we are inevitably drawn to them. To many, they represent the "American Dream" realized because they have managed to break free form their humble

Origins Of The Mafia Essay

1137 words - 5 pages bringing in millions to La Cosa Nostra. When prohibition hit in 1929, it was men like Al Capone, Frankie Yale (the first celebrity mafia figure), and Johnny Torrio Pagonis 3 that came to the "rescue" With bootlegging and illegally importing by controlling the docks in major cities, the mafia worked underground to appease the needs of the American people. Al Capone most notoriously, who was brought from New York to Chicago by Yale, is still the most

The Language Of The Mafia Essay

2086 words - 8 pages The Language of the Mafia Mobspeak is a language that grows out of secrecy, and who can be more secret than the Mafia? The anti-social nature of the Mob is the perfect breeding ground for an "Antilanguage," which is, according to M. A. K. Halliday, a language that develops out of an antisociety which stands as a mode of resistance' to the society within which it exists (Butler 1). In his 1976 article, Halliday suggests that in these