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Al Capone - True Gangster

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Essay title: Al Capone - True Gangster

Prohibition led to the bootlegging of liquor and the gang wars of the 1920Тs. The most notorious gangster of all time, known as Al Capone, was the most powerful mob leader of his era. He dominated organized crime in the Chicago area from 1925 until 1931. Capone grew up during the roaring 20s in Chicago. He joined the James Street gang, lead by Johnny Torrio. In 1920, Torrio asked Capone to move to Chicago and work with his uncle who controlled the cityТs largest prostitution and gambling ring at the time. Capone had liked that idea. Later that year the Prohibition act came into affect and Capone became interested in selling illegal whiskey and other alcoholic beverages. Al Capone was America's best known gangster and greatest symbol of destruction of law and order in the United States during the Prohibition era because of his leading role in the illegal activities which gave Chicago its reputation as a lawless city.

CaponeТs network came through TorrioТs business. Capone and Torrio took over his uncles business after his uncle died (Haller, 358). TorrioТs uncle did not agree with CaponeТs idea in the first place. His uncle was shot by his rival, which gave the business to Torrio. They both created the selling of illegal alcohol in the city of Chicago (Haller 359). This impacted the U.S. because it gave many men and women beverages for their needs. Capone developed contacts to obtain imported liquor from Detroit, New York, and Miami (Haller 360). These purchases gave Capone power and wealth because he sold alcohol all over Chicago. After Torrio was shot and almost killed by a rival gang, he retired from the underworld, which left Capone to run the organization alone (World Biography). Now Capone was on the top of his organization and at the age of 26, he was managing more than 1,000 employees, which included a payroll of more than $300,000 a week (World Biography). Capone demanded loyalty from all of his employees. During this time Capone became so rich he gave out free food for ChicagoТs unemployed which made him look like a good influence.

Unemployed people did not care that the money he gave them was made illegally, to them money was money. Capone also supplied booze to the poor. УEven though bootlegging was illegal at this point in time, if you got people alcohol, you were respected by the communityФ(Kobler). People were in the depression at the time, and they were fortunate enough just to receive a little something even though it came from bootlegging. In a way Capone also made another contribution. Capone contributed to the repealing of the eighteenth amendment, and then later on the twenty-first amendment (Kobler). Throughout the Depression, Capone helped people struggle through the tough times by supplying them with food, money, clothing and alcohol.

Since Capone was such a huge criminal, the law enforcement contributed to American society to find a way to stop Capone. УOne group that was formed because of him was the UntouchablesФ (Bergreen). The FBI was also formed because of crime such as the Mafia. More and more police stations were built because of crime, and now today people have more protection because of all the different kinds of crime prevention agencies. If Capone and other criminals like him werenТt around at that time, law enforcement might not be were it is today. Capone is still seen as a common thug outside of Chicago from his organization.

Capone impacted the United States because he was seen as a common thug through out the world. УCaponeТs power increased enormously, now that he was the leader of the most powerful gang in ChicagoФ (American Decades CD-ROM). People around the U.S. heard about CaponeТs gang, and recognize him as just another common thug. People saw Capone as a low life man involved in organized crime. Capone has never done any time for the murders he has committed (American Decades CD-ROM). Capone felt powerful because he had always walked out a free man in Chicago, which made him look like a thug to the rest of the Nation. To get on the peopleТs good side he received publicity for opening a soup kitchen, for those who had been thrown out of work during the depression (Hornung). This made Capone look a little better than a thug on the streets of Chicago. He gave unemployed people food and money only to make himself look innocent. One of the main conflicts Capone was involved with impacted the U.S., which was called the St. Valentines Day Massacre.

On Feb. 14, 1929, the St. Valentines Day Massacre impacted the U.S. because it was the worst display of gang violence. Capone was in Florida during the St. Valentines Day Massacre, but still held responsible for the murder of a bootlegger (American Decades CD-ROM). Capone was held responsible because "Machine Gun" McGurn was given complete control of the hit ordered by Capone. The St. Valentines Day Massacre

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