Past And Present Of The American Mafia History Essay

The Mafia started out in Sicily and Italy as an rebellion against the authorities. When Italian immigrants came over to the US, specifically New Orleans, the Mafia came every bit good. For the most portion the American Mafia isolated itself in New Orleans, and kept off from other organized offense ( OC ) groups. This was in portion because of the strong favoritism against Italians.

The American Mafia was comprised of Italians and Sicilians, but as clip went on it became to the full Italian. In order to go a made adult male in the Mafia, you had to be full Italian. In the late 1950 ‘s the Mafia began to accept half-Italians, every bit long as the Italian came from the male parent ‘s side. During the 1930 ‘s to 1950s, the Mafia had become a fully fledged condemnable organisation recognized by the American authorities and the FBI.

Separated into households, the Mafia had infiltrated most of the major metropoliss in the US. These households were really structured. The foreman, or Don, was at the caput of the household. He had the most authorization and made the determinations. The foreman besides received most of the money that the household made. He gave orders for hits, blackwashs, and onslaughts. The foreman besides appointed the underboss, the capos, and the soldiers. The underboss was 2nd in bid to the foreman. His power varied with the household, some foremans gave their underbosses tonss of power, while others had small. The underboss could besides give orders for person to be killed or “ taught a lesson. ”

Johnson 2 The consigliore was, in most households, person who was mostly depended on by the foreman. He was like the foreman ‘s right-hand adult male, adviser, and purportedly impartial to the effects of the determinations. Normally elected by the household, sometimes the foreman appointed the consigliore and sometimes the consigliore was n’t every bit impartial as he was supposed to be.

The capos were work forces put in charge of either a subdivision of town or an illegal trade. They made the money and passed a big part of it up to the underboss and foreman. The capo had soldiers under them, though the figure varied per household. The soldiers were the lowest in the Mafia concatenation. They did the dirty work such as mugging, slayings, larceny, extortion, etc. The soldiers had small power and small say in household affairs. Soldiers besides got the least sum of money in the household.

In order to go a made adult male, there a few demands ; foremost of all, the adult male had to hold been already conveying money to the household in some manner. They had to go through any trials the household thought was required and, before the official induction ceremonial, they had to finish a hit the foreman wanted done. The official induction ceremonial involved being led into a group of foremans and underbosses and holding their arm or finger pricked ; they would so smear the blood onto a sacred image and fire the image. This was to typify the decease of a treasonist, should the made adult male choose to go an betrayer.

The Mafia households would n’t hold been so successful if they merely depended on made work forces. The households besides had associates who worked with them. Associates were non mafia members, but members of society the co-operated with the Mafia. Anyone could be an associate, from politicians to fruit sellers, from histrions to local instrumentalists. Co-operating could intend giving money to, or occupations, or supplying foreparts or paperwork for illicitly acquired money every bit good as any other thing the Mafia wanted done.

Johnson 3 In the 1920s, the households were contending among each other, assassinating and full-scale warring. Lucky Luciano, a powerful foreman, organized a Commission to halt the combat among households. The Commission consisted of one foreman or consigliore from the major households. If a Mafia household declared war on another household, the Commission backed the household that was being attacked. By making this, the Commission discouraged the onslaughts. When a war did happen, the Commission assassinated or usurped the current Boss of the household that was the annoyance and replaced him.

The money started to pour in when the Mafia started bring forthing illegal spirits during the Prohibition epoch. Aside from spirits, the Mafia had a manus in drugs, human trafficking, extortion, gaming, shark loans, armed assault, and many other offenses. As the early 1900s went on, the Mafia infiltrated Bankss, concerns, and political relations. They besides took control of the movie industry and gained the “ support ” of many histrions and movie managers.

As clip went on, the Mafia easy built itself up and became even more structured. Al Capone is viewed as a legendary gangster after going celebrated during the prohibition epoch. In world, towards the terminal of his calling, he was viewed with intense disfavor by fellow Mafia members because he did n’t maintain a low plenty profile. The Mafia had begun to develop regulations, both spoken and mute.

One of these regulations was to maintain a low profile. If Mafia members were pulling excessively much attending, the foreman, or sometimes the Commission, would order a hit. Another regulation, this one unspoken but to a great extent enforced, was to maintain to the Mafia. Members were n’t encouraged to go friends with mundane citizens for fright of something stealing out. If the Mafia suspected that person on the exterior was being told something, two hits were taken out. The outside individual would be taken down, every bit good as the Mafia member that was acquiring excessively near to them.

Johnson 4 The Commission managed to halt wars among the households, but non wars within the household. The Mafia was filled with backstabbing, ratting, and blackwash. If a foreman was disliked by adequate capos and his underboss, he would be assassinated and the underboss would take his topographic point. If person in the Mafia did something wrong, they were killed. If the foreman disliked person, or even the underboss or capo, they could frequently happen a ground to take out a hit on them.

Sometimes the Mafia blackwashs were said to be symbolic, but in world this merely happened a few times. One such thing happened when a adult male was introduced to a capo as a made adult male in the Mafia. When the capo found out that he was non a made adult male, the individual who introduced him to the capo was assassinated. The adult male ‘s custodies were cut off to typify how the capo had shaken custodies with the adult male who had been presented as a made adult male.

Another clip was the decease of Bruno Facciola, a soldier in the Lucchese offense household. He was suspected of being about to speak to the constabulary. When his organic structure was found, he had been shot, and had a dead fink shoved in his oral cavity. Some other organic structures of betrayers were ne’er found, and others were tortured and dumped someplace as an illustration.

In 1970 the authorities passed the RICO act which allowed the FBI to convey down several Mafia households. It allowed the prosecuting officers to acquire whole organisations if they could turn out that the organisation had repeatedly made money through illegal methods. Almost all felonies were under the RICO act, and the act merely required the cogent evidence of two offenses being committed in a fifteen-year span.

Johnson 5With the RICO act the FBI was able to collar and imprison many Mafia members. A defense mechanism technique used by the made work forces on test was to claim the Fifth Amendment, saying that they believed if they answered the inquiry put to them, it would imply them. The RICO act helped the FBI acquire around this technique because it merely required cogent evidence, non needfully the Mafia members ‘ testimony.

A safety cyberspace for the foreman was to hold the whole debacle directed at a capo or, at the worst, the underboss. This allowed the foreman to acquire off easy because he was ne’er straight involved in the offenses committed. The RICO act changed this because it allowed the FBI to bear down the people in the organisation, even if they were non straight involved with the offense.

During the 1960s to the 1990s, the FBI spent tonss of clip and money on the Mafia. They tapped phone wires, sent clandestine people in, and put the known foremans and underbosses on twenty-four-hour, seven twenty-four hours a hebdomad surveillance. When they arrested a made adult male they spent hours interrogating him. Sometimes they were rewarded when he agreed to attest at the test of another adult male, or even to imply a foreman or underboss. In 1963, Joe Valachi turned informant after his apprehension. Through him several other Mafia work forces were arrested, and first-hand cognition of how the Mafia worked was gained by the FBI.

The US authorities fought the American Mafia, but there are a twosome known times when the authorities co-operated with them. One of these was during World War 2. The US Naval Intelligence made a trade with Lucky Luciano in order to acquire his aid maintaining the New York harbour free from people desiring to undermine the Navy at that place. The CIA made many attempts to work with the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro, they wanted him poisoned or shooting. A few efforts were made at it, but the Mafia could n’t win and the operation was shut down.

Johnson 6After the FBI was successful in conveying down some chief Mafia households, the Mafia seemed to melt into the background. The staying foremans seemed to withdraw, and finally the populace was lead to doubt their being. This brings us to today, where many people do n’t cognize if the Mafia is still active or non. I think that it is still present, but that even the FBI has been slightly side-tracked from it.

After 9/11 happened, the FBI turned its focal point to terrorists. They are still directing in clandestine officers and working towards collaring more made work forces, but their chief focal point has shifted. The American Mafia is known to be involved in drug rings, human trafficking, and the black market. At times the Mafia makes the headlines, but for the most portion they seem to be remaining quiet.

I have found that the Mafia is still active, but non every bit powerful as people might believe. They are still a menace, but the apprehensions made in the 1970s and 1980s have weakened them. New Torahs have made them alter their manner of operation and the Mafia is n’t every bit successful as it has been in the yesteryear. The American Mafia is still present, but non as openly active as it was. The Mafia – organized? Yes. Shrouded in enigma and fright? No.