Gang Violence During Prohibition

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Joey Fafinski
Mr. Skemp
Chicago Gang Violence during Prohibition Prohibition had a major impact throughout the United States. The Volstead Act banned almost all forms of alcohol from the the United States. Despite this attempt to eradicate alcohol, alcohol entered the country illegally. This illegal activity led to a major increase in gang violence especially in urban areas. Gang violence in Chicago was particularly significant during Prohibition. The gang violence in Chicago was led by none other than the notorious mobster, Al Capone. Capone was not alone, however, in bringing gang violence to Chicago. Many other mobsters, hitmen, policeman and politicians joined with Capone in activities that led to the deterioration of the rule of law in Chicago. The conditions of Chicago during Prohibition made gang violence especially severe. In just an eighty year span, Chicago underwent one of the biggest population increases ever recorded. The population in 1850 was just under 30,000 people and by 1930 it increased to over 3.3 million people. Many were immigrants hailing from countries like Ireland, Germany, and Italy. This surplus of immigrants led to a large working class and a high unemployment rate.
This huge increase in the working class and unemployment rate was not met by an increase in police officers. By 1900 Chicago only had a little more than 3,000 police officers. Moreover, these officers often lacked proper training.

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