For my ethnographic research report, I chose to study Bootleggers and gangsters during the Prohibition Era. Prohibition was a time, from 1920 to 1933, during which the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol was illegal. Supporters of Prohibition were mostly religious middle class protestant woman who felt that the United States needed to be socially reformed; therefore, they were able to convince enough lawmakers to pass the 18th amendment that essentially outlawed alcohol beverages . Although it became illegal during this era to consume alcoholic beverages, demand remained high. People felt that alcohol provided them with a way to release the tension they felt after a long hard day at work. It was a form of entertainment. Others
The 1920’s was an interesting time in American history. This era was also known as the roaring twenties. Although it is remembered as a fond time before the Great Depression there was also a lot of conflicts arising, Cultural conflicts in particular were at the center. Prohibition and Immigration were two of the main cultural conflicts during this time period.
What happened in the 1920s when the 18th amendment was passed? The 18th amendment banned the production, sale, transportation, exportation, importation and consumption of alcohol. This law gave a rare chance to start a business that caused the rise of organized crime. The Mafia, also known as La Cosa Nostra (Our Thing), or the Mob, is the name of several clandestine organizations in Sicily and the United States. Before the 1920s the mafia’s main focus was on gambling, theft, and prostitution in order to make a profit, but when the Volstead act passed it increased their profits even more because all mafia organizations started a black market for bootlegging the outlawed alcohol and they also created speakeasies which was where they sold
As Americans, the citizens of the United States take a deep pride in our freedoms of a democracy. Throughout the history of this great nation, the inhabitants of the United States of America have taken to arms, protested and revolted against enemies; and even each other. One such paramount of history that sets the United States of America apart from that of other countries are the documents known as the Constitution of the United States of America. The aforementioned documents are the backbone of American law and justice; both ensuring a law by which all citizens are bound to, as well as, ensuring the freedoms of those same citizens. With regards to social issues that portray a side of both that pro and con, a singular amendment comes to mind:
Organized crime during Prohibition skyrocketed for a multitude of different and varied reasons. Through the criminal experience and political connections gained in the early 1900’s, as a result of the gambling and prostitution rackets, many criminals were ready to take advantage of Prohibition. However, a result of the illegal consumption and distribution of alcohol is that there is not a fair way to settle disputes. Therefore, violent crimes increased due to it being the only way for gangsters to solve unsettled issues with one another. One of the most famous gangsters of the time arrived in Chicago just as Prohibition had began- Al Capone. Al Capone inherited the leadership of the Torrio Gang when he arrived in Chicago in 1920. Al Capone
Mobsters was a term that describes a group of gangsters in the 1920’s. Gambling, Prostitution, and Murder went hand in hand with the term of mobster. Every mafia group has a leader. Al Capone was a dangerous mobster who was a Mafia crime lord and had took part in illegal alcohol, illegal drugs, prostitution, and illegal gambling during the 1920s (History).
Sociologists have determined, the predominant cause of a revolution in the world is poor economic conditions, where people are not able to get adequate income to take care of their bare necessities to feed themselves and make the ends meet. Hence, many resort to illegal activities, particularly in highly populated areas, where massive competition for jobs exists. As can be concluded, it is inevitable that eventually many of the people who commit illegal acts get caught by law enforcement authorities, and subsequently end up in jail. Accordingly, due to the instability of the economic and political growth, many people feel obligated to move elsewhere, not only to seek employment to support their families, but to find a better and safer environment to live in. This shows how resilient American people truly were. Because, they were determined to survive through abominable events in their community.
Al Capone, a mob boss. In 1920s the mob was at its peak. The mob made alcohol, had prostitutes and gambled during the prohibition. The prohibition was when the 18th amendment was passed, the 18th amendment banned alcohol in the United States. Capone was one of the more well known mob bosses. He made 100 million annually. Capone influence the United States by doing what he wanted, he influenced todays law system, and helped Chicago 's people through tough times.
In the 1920's, the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the consumption, distributing, and production of alcohol, was passed and seen as a failure as it filled the streets of America with criminals and gangsters. Americans saw the 18th Amendment as a violation of their constitution rights and often found a way to go around the amendment. For example, speakeasies, which was an illegal liquor store or night club during prohibition, began to emerge. This allowed Americans to go against tradition culture by socializing with other people who opposed Prohibition. The 18th Amendment raised crime rates within the United States. During this time, many people joined gangs and illegally transported and manufactured alcohol. Prohibition was a failure
This exhibit is focused on the “Roaring 20’s”, and what made the 1920s roar. The Roaring Twenties roared because of the vast amounts of spending, the crime, and people just having fun. Willie Sutton was an extravagant bank robber during the 1920s. Sutton was born on June 30, 1901 in Brooklyn, New York. Willie Sutton wasn’t a typical thug. He was instead described by those he encountered as polite and even a gentleman. During his forty-year robber career he stole an estimated two million dollars, and he eventually spent more than half of his adult life in prison and escaped three times.(“Willie Sutton.” Willie Sutton , FBI.). He was known for executing robberies in disguises, he gained two nicknames, "Willie the Actor"
Gangs had also become a big part of the 1920’s, they had a lot of say in went on round the towns they lived in. Gangs had a lot of control of how liquor got in and out of their towns “It was smuggled in from the seas off both the east and west coasts and brought overland from both Canada and Mexico.” (McNeill). Everyday people would smuggle liquor in from all over if it was hard to find by them. They would sell it to family and friends all over and speaks did the same thing. They would bring in liquor from other places so they could keep their speaks open. keeping their speaks open allowed them to still make an income in order to keep their businesses still open. Gangs in some places had no trouble trying to kill people if they got in the way
The 1920’s, or “The Roaring 20’s”, was a decade that witnessed exciting social changes. It was a time of prosperity and dissipation, bootleggers and jazz dancers, and most importantly, it was a decade of The Prohibition Era. The Prohibition Era is basically an era which banned the manufacture, transportation, import and export, and the sale of alcoholic beverages. It was meant to reduce crime, corruption, and social problems and increase the overall hygiene of America. However, this social and political experiment failed.
The early 1900s was the beginning of the prohibition. With the ban of the distribution of all alcohol came the start of organized crime. Many people helped launch the Gangster Era. One in particular became one of the more notorious to do so. His name is John Dillinger. Professional bank robber, expert escape artist, and an all around dangerous gangster. He was one of the biggest contributors to the Gangster Era of the 1920s and 1930s. He was seen as a hero in the reason that he stole the money from big companies and corporations; the same companies that took advantage of low income citizens. Even though he was extremely dangerous and violent, the life of crime made him very prosperous and wealthy.
Throughout history, there have been many ups and downs within American society. One period of time in which American economy was undoubtedly booming was the 1920s. The 1920s were a such an important period that there was even a name to define it - the Golden Age. As the Prohibition progressed, public disregard for the Prohibition led to significant changes in American culture. In addition to this, Prohibition enforcement was also occurring. Furthermore, the ongoing conflict surrounding the Prohibition affected the election of 1928 and political support for the presidential candidates at the time.
In the early 1920s, the views on alcohol in America had two very different standpoints. On one side, there were the people who believed that alcohol was a good contribution to society. These people were known as Modernists. On the other side, there were the people known as traditionalists who thought alcohol was evil and corrupt. These two sides differ in opinions which led to the debate against the drys and the wets. The passing of the Eighteenth Amendment was supported by the traditionalists, but created havoc in the cities which was predicted by the modernist and resulted in the repeal of the prohibition and can be compared to the Twenty-first century debate on the legalization of marijuana.