The Legacy of Al Capone and the Chicago Outfit
The mafia was the single largest influence on Italian American life in the city of Chicago. Italians who came to America from Europe had a great difference among themselves. They were very diverse but all of them shared the same hardship. Italian immigration peaked around 18801924. The mafia was very kind and supportive to Italian Americans and Sicilian Americans. Italians received a lot of help and assistance from the mafia, but also had a ruined reputation and a lot of distrust from association. The mafia is the single most impacting thing on Italian American life, even today.
Italians and Sicilians are a very proud group of people. Italians almost exclusively came from southern Italy, most notably Naples, and Sicily. A few Italians came from Northern Italy at a later time, and established communities in the Midwest United States. “Though a handful of Northern Italian adventurers settled in the Midwest before the Revolutionary War, the first notable Italian presence in Illinois dates back to the 1850s, when Italian enclaves gradually formed around the state where there was promise of steady work.”1 Italian immigrants were some of the most impoverished people to come to the United States during the 1800s. “Italian immigrants were among the poorest people to come to the United States in this period. They tended to take work as laborers in the cities of Northeastern United States, especially New York City, Boston, Massachusetts. Most immigrants from southern Italy could not read or write, and few spoke English. Thus, they were often forced to work in the lowestpaying jobs that no one else wanted.”2 Italians and Sicilians came to America for a large variety of reasons. The most notable being political and economic turmoil. Italy was in dire economic
"Overview." And They Came To Chicago. Www.modiomedia.com, Web. 22 Jan. 2015. “Italian and Greek Immigration.” UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 4. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 800803. U.S. History in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2014
and political distress. “Italy experienced political turmoil and economic crisis at the end of the nineteenth century. Finding it difficult to support their families, many Italians decided to emigrate.”3 The southern Italians and Sicilians had it the toughest of all Italians. Being a mostly agricultural people, life was even harder for them. This explains why Southerners and Sicilians came to the United States more than Northern Italians did. “Two of Italy’s poorest regions, the island of Sicily and the region around Naples, accounted for over half the Italians who left their homes for the United States.”4 Italians and Sicilians frequently lived in neighborhoods together or established new tight knit communities in America. “When they arrived in the United States, it was common for Italian Americans to move into a neighborhood where people from their own town or region of Italy had settled.”5 Italians also would be well known in their area. Many families would join together to create their own community for Italians and by Italians. These were known as Little Italy’s. “Several families from the same Italian town often lived next to each other on the same street in Boston or New york, maintaining the same social ties they had in Italy. As these neighborhoods grew, they each became known as Little Italy.”6 This shows the vast difference between Italian and Sicilian Americans and settled Americans.
During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s immigrants from all over the world were immigrating the the United States. “The Italians constituted one of the largest groups who came to America during the "New Immigration" period.” 7 Coming to the United States, Italian
Benson, Brannen, Valentine. ...
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Annotation: This source talks about the negative side of the Mafia. It talks about how Al
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Annotation: This talks about the ways police officers combated crime. especially
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Annotation: This source talks about Prohibition and the 18th amendment. It talks about
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20 Jan. 2015.
Annotation: Our quote from this source talks about the programs Al Capone and the
Gale, 1998. U.S. History in Context. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.
Annotation: This source talks about the multiple lynching of Italian immigrants. We also
Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 4. Detroit: UXL, 2009.
800803. U.S. History in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2014
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Annotation: We found quotes about prejudice, suspicion, and violence towards
"Overview." And They Came To Chicago. Www.modiomedia.com, Web. 22 Jan. 2015.
Annotation: This source gave us a quote that explains what region of the United States
"Al Capone." Al Capone. Szandik, Eric. Web. 21 Jan. 2015
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