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Research Papers on Organized Crime in the 1920s

Research papers on organized crime in the 1920's discuss the influx of crime through the mafia and the rise of the corresponding crime families. Have Paper Masters help you write an American history research paper on organized crime.

On January 1, 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment, which made it illegal to manufacture, transport or sell alcohol, went into effect in the United States. One immediate and unexpected consequence was the explosive growth of organized crime. In many ways, the 1920s is the stereotypical period of organized crime in the US, epitomized by the likes of such notorious gangsters as Al Capone.

The Mafia, Italian crime syndicates, came to the United States in the early decades, especially after Mussolini came to power in Italy. When Prohibition went into effect, these groups began illegally importing and selling alcohol at great profit. Most major cities saw the rise of an organized crime syndicate to control both alcohol and other illegal activities.

Organized Crime in the 1920s

Organized Crime Factions

Many of these groups were based on ethnicities, and some cities, such as New York or Chicago, saw major outbreaks of gang violence as the result of Irish, Italian, or Jewish mobs attempting to control the territory. For example, during the 1920s, Al Capone massacred the Irish North Side Gang in his efforts to become the crime boss of Chicago.

By the end of the decade, New York had two major crime factions, led by the following:

  1. Joe Masseria
  2. Salvatore Maranzano

The resulting Castellammarese War led to Maranzano establishing the “five families” which controlled the area for decades. Maranzano set himself up as the boss of all bosses, but he was soon assassinated by the order to Charles “Lucky” Luciano, who then set up The Commission, comprised of Mafia bosses.

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