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Organized Crime. I. Criminal Networks A. Before Prohibition B. Growth C. Beer Wars D. The “Syndicate” II. The Idea of “Organized Crime” A. Progressive Political Economy B. Ethnic Stereotypes C. Functionalist Social Science III. Gang Busters A. Early Ambivalence

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organized crime
Organized Crime

I. Criminal Networks

A. Before Prohibition

B. Growth

C. Beer Wars

D. The “Syndicate”

II. The Idea of “Organized Crime”

A. Progressive Political Economy

B. Ethnic Stereotypes

C. Functionalist Social Science

III. Gang Busters

A. Early Ambivalence

B. The Corruption Crisis

C. Calls for reform

IV. Redefining the Problem

A. The Great Depression

B. Shifting Priorities

the old regime
The Old Regime

“Big Jim” Colosimo and his saloon

  • Retail
    • Saloons, nightclubs, & brothels
  • Ethic Origins
    • Irish—Clan Na Gael
    • Jews– Prostitution, gambling, liquor, fencing, & smuggling
    • Italians– Mano Negro
  • Non-lethal violence
    • Slugging, bombing
  • Political control
    • Politicians in “vice wards” own joints
growth
Growth
  • New attitude
    • Individualism
    • Consumerism
    • Hedonism
  • Technology
    • Racing wire
  • Prohibition
beer wars
Beer Wars
  • Illegal alcohol is $2B industry
  • Urban gangs fight to control the market
the syndicate
“The Syndicate”
  • Capone
  • St. Valentine’s Day massacre, 1929 
progressive political economy
Progressive Political Economy
  • Political metaphor
    • Conspiracies
    • Machines
    • Trusts
    • Rings
  • Class metaphor
    • Mob
    • Gang
stereotypes
Stereotypes
  • Castellammarese War (1930-1)
    • Sicilian Immigrants
      • “Moustache Petes”
    • Neapolitan-Americans
      • “Lucky” Luciano
    • Jewish Americans
      • Meyer Lansky
  • Organized crime is as AMERICAN institution

 Don Vito Cascio Ferro

functionalist social science
Functionalist Social Science
  • Focus
    • Culture
    • Environment
    • Law
  • See crime as “functional” response to defect in law, injustice, or inequality
  • View crime as a form of social organization
    • Landesco
urban ballyhoo
Urban Ballyhoo
  • Clownishly corrupt mayors
    • Chicago
      • William “Big Bill” Thompson
    • NYC
      • Jimmy “Beau James” Walker
    • Boston
      • James “The Rascal King” Curley
political crisis
Political Crisis
  • McSwiggin assassination
confronting lawlessness
Confronting Lawlessness

Mayor Walker before the Seabury committee

Chicago reform mayor, William E. Dever

Frank Loesch (right), president of the Chicago Crime Commission

federal criminal justice
Federal Criminal Justice
  • Wickersham Commission

FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover

the great depression
The Great Depression
  • GNP falls 29% between 1929 and 1933
  • Unemployment jumped from 3.2 to 25.2% between 1929 and 1933 
new priorities
New Priorities
  • New Deal
  • 18th Amendment repealed, December 5th 1933
  • Congress passes Anti-Racketeering Law, May 1934

Fauerbach Brewery Bar,

Madison Wisconsin