Prohibition: 1920´s Crime World

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by KARINKKhams
Last updated 6 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
American History
Grade:
8

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Prohibition: 1920´s Crime World

Prohibition: 1920's Crime World

In 1919, congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S Constitution, banning the sale, manufacturing and transportation of alcohol nationwide. This act is called Prohibition.

Al Capone, the notorious Italian gangster from New York controlled most of Chicago as a brutal but smart gang leader. Capone made a huge profit from running saloons and bootleg operations. His estimated income was about $60 million dollars. He was one of the most significant figures in the prohibition's crime world. Capone was responsible for more than 200 deaths in his leadership days, though he was never convicted for murder. He WAS convicted for tax evasion though.

Organized crime waves increased after the 18th amendment was passed. Bootleggers (those who manufactured and transported alcohol illegally) continued to sell liquor. American gangsters made huge profits through bootlegging, speakeasies (saloons or nightclubs that sells alcohol illegally. You had to say a easy password to enter, hence the name speakeasies), as well as gambling and prostitution. Citizens that couldn't afford liquor made their own in bathtubs (bathtub gin), though it was very risky because the bacteria that could form in it was lethal when consumed. A common effect of the poison was blindness and in some cases, death. Gangsters often bribed police officers, judges, politicians and many other public figures to look the other way during raids. The gangsters smuggled liquor from Mexico and Canada. Gang violence erupted because of the high demand of alcohol. Each gang wanted more turf, more profit and less competition.

Homicide rates before, during and after prohibition

The St. Valentine's Day MassacreWorst Massacre In America's History

Prohibition agents pour liquor into the sewer while the New York City Deputy Police Commissioner looks on, 1921

When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality. -Al Capone

Prohibition was significant because it was a huge step for the women against alcohol and towards women's rights. It was a shaky era full of violence and unreliable public leaders.

Karin Komiyama-KasaiPeriod 8

On a cold morning on Feburary 14, 1929, 7 gang members (belonging to "Bugs" Moran's group) were lined up against their own illegal liquor-storage by 4 rival gang members (most likely Al Capone's men) who were posing as police officers conducting a raid. The 4 men took the 7 gangsters' weapons and opened fire, killing Moran's men on the spot except for one, who later died at a hospital. This massacre was said to be Al Capone's plan to get rid of his biggest rival, "Bugs" Moran. Moran was spared the massacre because he was running late to the garage, and hid when he saw a police vehicle parked outside of his garage.

Hollowed out books and hip flasks like the ones above were used to conceal and store alcohol


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