History of the Mafia

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7/30/2015


History of the Mafia
Their guns terrorized many people in the streets of New York. They were brutal, murderous thugs that killed without any emotions of remorse. They were drug dealers, bank robbers, hit men, casino owners, and pimps. They were the infamous and legendary Mafia of the 1920's and 1930's. These corrupt degenerates played a major role in American history; they were much more than just gunslingers and bank-robbers; they were men that changed all aspects of society. They were some of the most acknowledged men in America; Some would say celebrities. Their evil acts earned the front page of every paper. They were some of the wealthiest individuals in America, most of all; they were the escape goats for America's problems. They were appreciated by few, despised by many and feared by all. In moments of poverty and desperation, they were viewed upon as the "problem," which demanded to be "fixed." The fear they inflicted on America gave Americans something to embrace over and battle upon collectively. Sometimes, a man is most courageous when he is most afraid. In the twenties, they made America roar, yet in the thirties, they took the wrath. Throughout time, both in America and Sicily, the Mafia were some of America's most dangerous men and some of its most famous as well.
To have an accurate view on the Mafia, you must learn a little about the history. The Mafia first originated in Sicily, in the ninth century. At this point, Sicily was being controlled by Arab forces. The locals were being abused, so they took sanctuary in the surrounding hillsides and established a secret fellowship to defend against the outside enemies. This secretive organization was named Mafia, after the Arabic term for refuge. The organization's purposes were to build a feeling of family, based on Sicilian culture. According to History.com " The American Mafia, which rose to power in the 1920s, is a separate entity from the Mafia in Italy, although they share such traditions as omerta, a code of conduct and loyalty"http://www.history.com/topics/origins-of-the-mafia. Throughout the 1700's, Mafia bosses started to push their way into the top ranks of the government and used state funds for their private purposes. When the Fascists and Mussolini rose to power in the early 1900's, Mussolini pledged to shed the motherland of the Mafia. Holding this in mind, and the reality that there was plenty of cash to make through prostitution, extortion, bootlegging and gambling in the US, several Mafioso's selected to come to America. Charles "Lucky" Luciano, the future organizer of the Mafia in New York, was born in 1897 in Sicily, and later came to New York. Luciano scaled the criminal ladder and by 1935, he was recognized as the Boss of Bosses. Luciano led Murder Inc., the organization that controlled New York throughout the 20's and 30's.
Everybody in America held their own view on the Mafia. Commonly, the poor looked up to the Mafia. The rich got richer, and the poor got poorer throughout the 20's and 30's. Several were out of a job and were even living on the street. The Mafia produced jobs and paid very well to people who were hardworking and loyal. Many viewed working for the Mafia as an alternative to homelessness and starvation. Also, several of the poor admired, respected and looked up to the brothers of the Mafia since they made something of themselves. They had the clothes, the fancy cars and the nice houses, but most of all the big money. This was a society that was very materialistic; most people were concentrated on money and success, at whatever the cost was that they deemed necessary. These were truly desperate moments that demanded desperate actions from the average man. The middle class and rich were desperate, but not the same way as the poor. The rich and middle class feared and resented the Mafia because they were affected by them the most. They were the larger prominent characters of society. They were street vendors and the owners of the shops that the Mafia extended "protection" to for a notable fee. There was no opposition to the Mafia. If the owners of the shop refused, then the shops that they