Chicago Organized Crime and Political Figures

Topics: Chicago, Gang, Prohibition in the United States Pages: 4 (1249 words) Published: February 6, 2014
Chicago Organized Crime and Political Figures
Organized crime in Chicago has existed for over a century, with its magnitude being extremely pronounced before the year of prohibition i.e. 1919. The gangsters took advantage of lucrative markets for illegal activities such as gambling, prostitution, robbery, hijacking and contract killing to extort. The popularity of the gang activities such as gambling was amplified by the hardships caused by depression; the poor citizens had high hopes of being released from the financial problems through winning of bets. Other reasons for the proliferation of crime in Chicago was because the city’s children were exposed to the criminal activities at a tender age and the ease by which criminals make a living without being involved in legitimate jobs. Organized crime was also aided by the fact that the politicians and law enforcers were crooked and easily corruptible (Abadinsky, 2013). The highly vulnerable governance system allowed the organized crime to grow because the gangs could easily evade arrest and prosecutions through bribery. However, some of the leaders such as William Dever made crucial strides in eliminating crime through conducting massive crackdown on bootleggers; a process described as beer war. The paper below is an account of organized crime in Chicago, including the role played by political systems and figures. Al Capone

Al Capone (Alphonse Capone) was an American gangster born to Italian immigrants in the Borough of Brooklyn in New York City in January 17, 1899. He delved in gang activities at a tender age of 14 years following his expulsion from school. According to History Files - Al Capone, he got engaged in a myriad of occupations such as a clerk in a candy store, a cutter in a book bindery, bouncer as well as a bartender before becoming a gangster. He was recruited for Chicago by Johnny Torrio, the Chicago crime boss at the time. Torrio’s retirement of 1925 cleared the way for Al Capone to become the...

References: Abadinsky, H. (2013). Chapter 3: The American Mafia. Organized Crime (10th ed., pp. 65-70). Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Bardsley, M. (n.d.). Al Capone: Chicago 's Most Infamous Mob Boss. ” Made In America” Crime Library on truTV.com. Retrieved November 1, 2013, from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gangsters_outlaws/mob_bosses/capone/index_1.html
Hales, T., &Kazmers, N. (n.d.). Home - The Impact of Organized Crime on the City of Chicago.Home - The Impact of Organized Crime on the City of Chicago. Retrieved November 1, 2013, from http://www.umich.edu/~eng217/student_projects/nkazmers/index1.html
History Files - Al Capone.(n.d.). History Files - Al Capone. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from http://www.chicagohs.org/history/capone.html
Schmidt, J. (2011, October 3). WBEZ 91.5 Chicago.William E. Dever: The mayor who cleaned up Chicago. Retrieved November 1, 2013, from http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-10-03/william-e-dever-mayor-who-cleaned-chicago-92024
Schottenhamel, G. (n.d.). How Big Bill Thompson Won Control of Chicago.JSTOR. Retrieved November 1, 2013, from http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/40189189?uid=3739256&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102857486251
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