The Italian Mafia

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“This life of ours, this is a wonderful life. If you can get through life like this and get away with it, hey, that’s great. But it’s very, very unpredictable. There’s so many ways you can screw it up” (“Famous Mob Quotes.” 1). Despite public misconception of the Italian Mafia, it has not always been the murderous, cold-hearted killers known today. The Mafia actually began as a way of protection. When the government took advantage over the common people, the Mafia would take the law into their own hands. The organization simply became too big for its britches and was forced to expand. When social issues arose, the Mafia extended to America and became the sophisticated society seen today. Beginning as small guilds and families in Sicily, Italy, …show more content…
In the nineteenth century, the Mafia escalated from petty thievery crimes to murder of political figures. Perhaps the first notable murder committed by the Italian Mafia was the murder of Emanuele Notarbartolo, a Sicilian banker. The Mafia was and remains the main suspect, however, no one was convicted. Even so, Benito Mussolini convicted hundreds of suspected Mafia members years after the incident. He also attempted to exterminate the Mafia from Sicily. As a result, the Mafia spread to America because of its desirable facade for immigrants. Many Italians were already living in the country so it was easy for illegal Mafia members to sneak in unnoticed. The Mafia was most active in New York, parts of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, and New England. Another advantage of immigrating to America was the opportunity to commit crime in America during the 1920s. With the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment, people all over the country were making a business of selling alcohol illegally. The Mafia quickly became involved in such activities and more. This “new” Mafia was focused on gaining power and money. To achieve this goal, Mafia families would often coerce other families and even government officials. In extreme cases, the Mafia would be forced to kill. Although the ideals are no longer the same as they were in the 1800s, family has maintained the position of highest importance to the Mafia. (“The Death and Life of the Mafia in Italy.” 3, 4,

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