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An overview of the Prohibition Era and the criminals that were created as a result.

Ondra Couch

on 6 October 2011

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Transcript of Prohibition/Gangsters-TonyGentile/LeoArmstrong

Gangsters of the Prohibition Era Al "Scarface" Capone (1899-1947) The Eighteenth Amendment (the Noble Experiment) Vito Genovese 1897-1969 Charles "Lucky" Luciano (1897-1962)
The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified on January 16, 1919, making it illegal to sell, manufacture, or transport alcohol in the United States. When the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began, prohibition started
to become increasingly unpopular for obvious reasons. During this time a different outlaw was created.
While the gangster killings of the 1920s were generally calculated
business decisions, the violence that arose in the 1930s began to be more about greed and personal vendettas. America was going through a progressive growth period during the late 1800s and into the early 1900s, and was coming to the tail end of the Industrial Revolution. During this time the topic of Women's Rights in America was a key one. Many Women's Rights movements pushed for topics that were associated with family life, and the reduction of alcohol consumption became looked upon as the key to fixing many problems in America. Before long, a numerous amount of leagues and unions
began to form in America with the primary goal to push
the U.S. government into passing an amendment that
would make the consumption of alcohol much more
difficult. The Anti-Saloon League, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and the Prohibition Party were some of the big names among these organizations. After the Amendment took effect, the illegal sale and manufacture of alcohol skyrocketed. Mobs and gangs were heavily invested in these practices and as a result they became more influential in society. After the 18th Amendment was passed secret salloons and establishments called Speakeasies sprang up all over America. American gangsters used this time period to earn huge profits by often controlling liquor sales, gambling, and prostitution, while making popular, silk suits, diamond rings, guns, booze and broads.
Although these many men were often murderers and outright robbers, they were sometimes also involved in the political, social, and economic conditions of the times, which increased their fame and wealth even further. Drinking alcohol began to become something that was hip, and cool
and the mobsters that supplied it were looked upon similarily. Gangsters opened up everything from nightclubs to dark and smokey basement taverns. One of the most infamous and notable figures of this time was American gangster Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone, who led a crime syndicate dedicated to the smuggling and bootlegging of liquor and other illegal activities during the Prohibition era. His gang (The Chicago Outfit) was believed to have been responsible for the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre, in which seven members of the "Bugs" Moran gang were machine-gunned down in front of a wall by men posing as police officers.
The following are statistics detailing how much worse crime got after the 18th Amendment was passed:

Police funding: INCREASED $11.4 Million
Arrests for Prohibition Las Violations: INCREASED 102+%
Arrests for Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct: INCREASED 41%
Arrests of Drunken Drivers: INCREASED 81%
Thefts and Burglaries: INCREASED 9%
Homicides, Assault, and Battery: INCREASED 13%
Number of Federal Convicts: INCREASED 561%
Federal Prison Population: INCREASED 366%
Total Federal Expenditures on Penal Institutions: INCREASED 1,000% Vito "Don Vito" Genovese was an Italian mafioso who rose to power in America during the Castellammarese War to later become leader of the Genovese crime family. Genovese served as mentor to future mob boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante. He was sent to prison after being set up by rival Lcky Luciano. Luciano is considered the father of modern organized crime in America for splitting New York City into five different Mafia crime families and the establishment of the first commission. He was the first official boss of the modern Genovese crime family. He was, along with his associate Meyer Lansky, a key figure in the development of the "National Crime Syndicate." George Clarence "Bugs" Moran Bugs Moran was led a gang rivaled by that of Johnny Torrio and his lieutenant Al "Scarface" Capone. Seven members of his gang were brutally shot down in what became known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. He made popular the act of driving by a rival's hangout and spraying it with gunfire (drive-bys). John "Papa Johnny" Torrio (1882-1957) Torrio helped build the criminal empire known as the Chicago Outfit, which he later passed on to his lieutenant, the infamous Al "Scarface" Capone in the 1920s. He put forth the idea of a National Crime Syndicate and was also later an advisor to the Genevese Crime Family. Infamous gangsters at this time included the likes of John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, George "Baby Face" Nelson, Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, and numerous others. Finally, after years of fighting against the Prohibition laws, on December 5, 1933 the 18th Amendment was repealed (by action of the 21st Amendment). As Prohibition became increasingly unpoular with the arrival of The Great Depression, conservative Democrats and Catholics, began to speak out against Prohibition, declaring that repealing the amendment would generate enormous sums of much needed tax revenue, and weaken the base of organized crime. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified on January 16, 1919 and took effect on January 17, 1920, banning the transportation, manufacture, and sale of alcohol in the United States. ....Bummer? If this presentation has increased your
interest in gangsters then watch the
Godfather movies!!!!
Full transcript