Gangsterism In The 1920'S
“The Roaring Twenties,”; what a perfect aphorism. It was certainly roaring with music and dance, but it also was roaring with gangsters. In the aspect of gangsterism, the thirties were also roaring. Americans in this time period tolerated criminals, especially those involved in bootlegging. Bootlegging is the smuggling of illegal substances. Bootlegging could have possibly been tolerated because of the recent outlaw of alcohol during this time period, known as the Prohibition. Gangsters were involved in bootlegging, prostitution, gambling, organized crime, and racketeering. Al “Scarface “ Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, and John Dillinger were the headliners of this era. Gangsterism provided a risky job but maximum rewards in a time when jobs were scarce and our country was in the midst of a depression. When Congress passed the eighteenth amendment, alcohol was banned in every way from America. People who were addicted to alcohol and even those who were accustomed to the casual drink still had a demand for it. Many would pay top dollar for a drink, they didn’t think obtaining alcohol would be too immoral because it was legal just a few years back. Citizens would hold private socials and would serve alcohol to all of the guests, this was usually done by the wealthy because of the high cost of alcohol. This opened up many opportunities for those who were willing to take risks and bootleg illegal alcohol to the country. With money flowing like water to many of these gangsters, greed began to grow rapidly among them. They began to explore more demoralizing fields of work. These gangsters began to open speakeasies, which were like old west taverns with prostitution, gambling, and of course, drinking. Speakeasies always had cover charges ranging from five dollars to twenty-five dollars, depending on the price of alcohol at the time. America’s obsession for alcohol allowed the owners to charge any price they wanted. Thousands of speakeasies were...
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