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Al Capone And Probation Essay

1354 words - 6 pages

Al Capone is the single greatest symbol of collapse of law and order in the United States during the Prohibition Era. The act of Prohibition brought power to Al Capone, which he used to expand his organized crime activities into a stranglehold over the city of Chicago. Liquor trade became very profitable during Prohibition, and the struggle for control over the bootleg empire erupted into a full-scale war between rival gangs in Chicago. Capone gradually came to symbolize all the criminal evils of prohibition; to many throughout the world, he became the symbol of a lawless nation#. Publicity grew around the actions of Capone, with accounts of his sordid activities published in newspapers ...view middle of the document...

”# When Torrio was shot by rival gang members and consequently decided to leave Chicago and the “outfit”, he reportedly told Capone, “It’s all yours, Al.” #
     Prohibition did not create organized crime#. However, it did create a new opportunity for lawbreakers and for the spread of criminal activity. It allowed Capone to expand his force and gain incredible power over the city of Chicago. Prohibition provided the connection between crime, politics, courts and police. Capone used his influence over municipal officials to control political affairs in Chicago, which increased his control. Using his authority, Capone was able to spread corruption throughout the system. He terrorized voters, invaded polling places and seized ballot boxes, he was able to handpick the candidates into city offices and became the undisputed ruler of Chicago. Capone contributed freely to the campaign funds of his political friends, and he supplied men for election boards and delivered repeat voters. Officials in return, granted Capone almost complete immunity from the law (police force) which provided him with protection not only for liquor rackets, but for the spread of all other criminal activities.#
     Combining the power of his money and his reputation, Capone’s gang moved into high places of government, into legitimate businesses, labour unions, employer’s associations, industrial racketeering, the protection rackets, blackmail and extortion. Ensuring complete protection from the law, Capone also enhanced “older” forms for crime, such as vice, crooked gambling, robbery, larceny, kidnapping and killing for hire. Capone established control of public services and private corporations, he bought his way into the manipulation of stocks and owned copious amounts of real estate throughout Chicago. #
     Naturally, the demand for liquor drastically increased during Prohibition and Al Capone seized this opportunity. Using gang-connected supply sources throughout the Midwest and establishing breweries, distilleries, stills and cookeries in Chicago, large quantities of alcohol were transported into the city. The liquor trade became increasingly profitable during Prohibition which resulted in a struggle for control of the liquor business. The competition between gangs caused an upsurge in violence which eventually escalated into war-like slayings.# The hostility that existed between gangs was tolerated by the people of Chicago, as it was considered part of prohibition’s price for maintaining the liquor supply. Describing his participation in the liquor trade, Capone claimed that “I make my money by supplying a public demand. If I break the law, my customers, who number hundreds of the best in Chicago are as guilty as I am. The only difference between us is that I sell and they buy. Everybody calls me a racketeer. I call myself a businessman.”# Capone maintained his place at the top and emerged from...

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