During the roaring twenties, society began evolving into political and industrialize perspectives which allow growth in many different aspects of life. The events occurred during this period exceed the feminine rights to vote and show prospects in equality of gender. However, many illegal activity began due to the eighteenth amendment enacted on January 16th, 1920. The eighteenth amendment was ratified to decrease drunkenness and family abuse when consumed alcohol. The prohibition interdicted the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcohol in the United States.
Thus, contributed in the creation of ootlegging liquor business as a complex criminal enterprise and many other illegal activities. Bootlegging was an illegal production and distribution of liquor into speakeasies. The consequences of drinking liquor in public or selling a beer was considered against the prohibition was six months of jail time and a fine of one thousand dollars. Although, the law did prevent citizens to drink publicly, it was a loose enforced law which did not consider containing liquor within a flask.
Bootlegging was an ‘undercover’ market business and raced up the prices of bottled liquor to make profit due to the emand of alcohol. Even though, at the time it was illegal to sell liquor, many purchases the beverage and drank it at home because the law did not suggest the action as illegal. In the book “Bootleg, Murder, and the lawless years of Prohibition,” Karen Blumenthal emphasizes the bootlegging business in a more depth perspective of American citizens throughout the United States who were in desperate need of alcoholic beverage.
Blumenthal accentuates the demand of liquor had not improved since the enact of prohibition where in a matter of months “drinking moved from bars and restaurants to the ome,”(Blumental 62) people began to distilled and brew their own liquor in households. Doctors wrote prescriptions for alcohol as medicine, priest and rabbis would purchase wine for worships and more to be sold for profit. Many would buy kettles, yeats, grains and other supplies create homemade brews and moonshine. William McCoy, known as ‘the real McCoy,’ sold pure liquor and was an early rumrunners who smuggled liquor from the Bahamas to New York.
In the East, many cabarets open businesses and were called “speakeasies. ” Leroy Ostransky father, Sharkey, would inject pure alcohol into he ‘legal beer which contain “less than one-half percent”(67) of alcohol and produce ‘bathtub gin. ‘ Furthermore, bootlegging business in New York and Chicago rose the American Mafia, the Italian-American Mafia and the rise of gangsters. Notorious gangsters rose was Alphonse “Al” Capone, John Gotti, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, and Johnny “Fox” Torrio who increase the rate of crimes for many years which consist of gang violence.
Johnny “Fox” Torrio recruited “Scarface” Capone as an enforcer for debt collecting. In “The Mammoth Book of Gangs: The fascinating inside story of 34 notorious gangs,” James Morton states during he Mann Act in 1910-1920, “Torrio arranged for Jim Colosimo. to receive a shipment of whiskey”(Morton 48) four months after the prohibition was enacted. On February 9, 1925 Torrio gave his position as mafia leader to his understudy Al Capone, who became the Boss of Chicago. Karen Blumenthal states “In Cicero, the Capone crowd turned out in force. ” (Blumenthal 96).
Al Capone had killed the town president because he did not pass Capone order. The killings continue throughout the years and escalated. Additionally, Mafias integrated illegal activities with their racketeering as a cover to not raise any suspicion. In ” Buster, Maranzano and the Castellammare War, 1930-1931,” David Critchley explores key aspects of the Castellammare War, which began in New York City between the two biggest Italian- American criminal gangs. A war for bloody power in the criminal business and Salvatore Maranzano declared himself as “Capo di tutti capi” which means boss of all bosses.
Critchley states “Uprising mobster Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano murdered Maranzano” and ended the war between gangs . Luciano formed a central organization consist at least 20 crime families across the country. All families in the mafia followed a code of loyalty nd silence. Once the repeal of the prohibition occurred, Mafia moved beyond bootlegging into the underworld activities such as illegal gambling, loan-sharking, to prostitution rings. Into legitimate business which provided millions of dollars to bribe police officers. Al Capone controlled all of the underworld go.
He had a great public relations by donating money to charities and opened a soup kitchen during the Great Depression. Mobsters were engaged with street battles over power control issue. In conjunction with Mafia rivalry, on February 14, 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred etween arch rivals Al capone and George”Bugs” Moran. Based on “History on the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” states” four men dressed as police officers enter gangster Bugs Moran’s headquarters on North Clark Street in Chicago. ” The police officers were associated as men who worked for Al Capone.
These men killed seven of Moran’s henchmen against a wall. After this event, Criminals became national celebrities which activities in Ch symbolized public’s lack of faith in society’s institutions. The mafia gathered for a conference on May 13-15, 1929 in Atlantic City, New York. Mafia leaders lead the conference in fear of the nding of banning alcohol. Without the prohibition enact there would be less money for the mafia, and would lose business in bootlegging. Violence became discreet, less visible in American society and the mafia’s power increase drastically.
The Teapot Dome Scandal occurred in April 7, 1922 involving national security, big oil companies and bribery and corruption at the highest levels of the government of the United States during President Warren G. Harding term. The Teapot dome was a naval petroleum reserves which would not be drilled unless a national emergency when at time of war. President Harding ave positon of office to his closest friends who had no experience of the role. His best friend, Albert Fall, was given the position of Secretary of the Interior under President Warren G. Harding.
In the book “The Teapot Dome Scandal Trial A headline Court Case,” Jonathan L. Thorndike reveals the main events of the scandal made in the government corruption arising out of the administration of President Warren G. Harding. Jonathan L. Thorndike explains the complex of the scandal which took ten years to resolve and states ” in 1921, Albert B. Fall persuaded him to secretly transfer control of three huge government oil eserves from the Navy to the Department of the Interior. ” (7). The oil reserve for Naval use to insure there was fuel during war time.
Secretary Fall, secretly sold the bases to Teapot Dome oil rights to Harry Sinclair’s Mammoth Oil Company and the Elk Hills oil rights to the Pan-American Petroleum Company to gain profit from leasing the oil fields. President Harding placed his friends in high authority where they committed bribery, embezzled government money, and committed fraud. The first major scandal formed by the Harding administration consist involvement of Charles R. Forbes and the Veterans Bureau.
The Veterans Bureau was in charge of taking care of former members of U. S military. Forbes began taking advantage of his position and sold government medical supplies to private companies. Another crime committed was between Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty and his assistant Jesse Smith, rented a little green house on K. Street which store liquor legally and many times deliver in government vehicles. Attorney Daugherty took “bribes from bootleggers, tried to get criminals out of jail. ” (Thorndike 44). The Harding Administration was known as the ‘Ohio Gang’ because they were a collection of crooks and black-mailers.
The Harding Administration benefited from their positions for personal gain of profits. As a result, in the 1920s many criminal activity rose from the prohibition era lead to illegal activities such as illegal liquor, gambling, prostitution ring, and government corruption. Police complicity to accept bribes and blackmail from bootleggers were a common situation during the time. People wanted to prosper in wealth and business after the great depression drained money and employment in the United States. Throughout the roaring twenties, organized crimes activity began to increase worldwide and manage to continue today.