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.
Bootleggers and other gangsters of the 1920s killed, cheated, stole, bribed, and in the case of Charles Birger, charmed their way into the hearts and memories of the American people with the same allure as the cowboys and outlaws of the old west. However, in the 1920’s, instead of bar fights and bank robbing, bootleggers raided the freight cars chock full of the “liquid gold” of prohibition: alcohol.
After a short lived period, “people who could afford the high price of smuggled liquor flocked to speakeasies and gin joints” (AnnenbergClassroom). Even though an enacted law prohibited manufacturing and consumption, this never stopped underground lucrative companies and gangsters from producing. Even when the law enforcement of America caught onto these illegal behaviors, “there were approximately 65,000
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
1920 Corruption Criminal activity in the 1920s advanced vigorously throughout the United States which became publicly witnessed due to the aftermath of the progressive era, resulting in broadcasts, radio, and newspaper. Scandals, such as the Harding Administration Scandal and Teapot Dome Scandal, and illegal activity, such as the gangster Al Capone, became eminent and symbolized corruption of the 1920s. Warren Harding served in office from 1921-1923 as the 29th U.S. President, before dying of a heart attack. His Presidency is famous for scandals and criminal activity orchestrated by some of his cabinet members and officials. Although he was not involved in the scandals, it unfortunately harmed his reputation and was known as a poor president
Crimes nearly skyrocketed due to the bootleggers organized crime of transportation and sales to sneak alcohol. Bootleggers began their smuggling of liquor into the United States by crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders and ship transportation from the Bahamas and Cuba. The smuggling became even more riskier and more expensive once the Coast Guards started searching the ships from coast to coast but bootleggers had other sources of supply. Gangs began to take control of the bootlegging industry and go from state to state picking up more people. Al Capone was the leader during the Prohibition era of Chicago.
Journalist Richard Cowan invented The Iron Law of Prohibition stating that the more intense law enforcement was on a prohibited substance, the more popular the prohibited substances became(Thornton). When anything becomes prohibited, the product will become more popular, be adulterated with unknown or dangerous substances, and will not be produced and consumed under normal market constraints . Due to alcohol having such a high popularity imports began to take place through many ports. Bootleggers began smuggling liquor into the United States not just from Canada and Mexico but from other seacoasts and ships under foreign registry such as the Bahamas, Cuba, and the French islands and off the southern coast of Newfoundland(Prohibition). Prohibition made it more difficult to supply weaker, products, such as beer, than stronger, compact products, such as whiskey, because(Thornton).
Although drinking was generally thought to have declined during Prohibition, it had instead, continued uninterrupted in many parts of the country, particularly in large cities and areas with large foreign-born populations. Smuggling on such a large scale could not be prevented, and the illegal manufacture of liquor sprang up with such speed that authorities were hard pressed to contain it. Thus began a period of illegal drinking, lawbreaking, organized crime, and the corruption of public officials. During Prohibition there was a 24 percent increase in crime rate between 1920 and 1921. The rate of arrests on account of drunkenness rose 41 percent, and arrests for drunken driving increased 81 percent.
One way that organized crime ran rampant through the 1920s is bootlegging, bootlegging was an illegal way of making alcohol because of the prohibition, which was a ban on all alcoholic beverages. In the 1920s, a major bootlegger and gangster was Al Capone ,others refer to him behind his back as "scar face", one of his main jobs was "The illegal sale of liquor, called bootlegging, became a growth industry, especially in urban areas such as Detroit, New York, and Chicago, where the
Crooked Agents were bribed to “look away” from people buying liquor. Even workers in the government wouldn’t help with the prohibition, they wouldn’t spend any money on enforcing it. When criminals smuggled alcohol they could easily get away with it because there would be so little patrol at the many miles of the country 's border. (Document C) The men who made the prohibition were not following its rules.
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).
This was life for the citizens in Chicago, everyone was kept in constant fear for their lives if they ever crossed Capone. The Federal Government knew they had to control the violent city of Chicago by eliminating the Gaffron 2 criminal that was behind it all, Al Capone. This is when our heroes enter, The Untouchables. In the movie, The Untouchables were a team assembled by Federal Treasury Officer, Eliot Ness, to help combat the massacres by mobsters in Chicago. The Federal Ban of alcohol (prohibition) led to an illegal market for liquor and in turn, more crime.
The men who created this law were not even following it. A deputy U.S Attorney General for Prohibition enforcement, Mabel Walker Willebrandt explains she is tired of the hypocrisy. It she showed by her asking “How can you have the heart to prosecute a bootlegger, send a man to jail for six months or a year for selling a pint or quart of whiskey, when you know for a fact that the men who make the laws.. Are themselves patronizing bootleggers?”
Bootlegging was the manufacture, distribution and sell of illegal goods. In this case it was Alcohol. During the prohibition Era, the rise of Speakeasies increased. A Speakeasies also known as “blind pigs” and “gin joints,”was an illegal bar or nightclub that sold illegal liquor during the Prohibition Era. The liquor was supplied by gangsters such as Al Capone.