The Mafia Used Prohibition to Become Successful
The Mafia was an organization rooted in defiance of the government (Michael Cavendish 78). On January 16, 1919, the 18th amendment was ratified, prohibiting the importing, exporting, manufacturing, and distribution of alcohol. Ten months later the Volstead Act was passed to enforce the law. The Volstead Act gave the United States Government the right to enforce Prohibition. The United States Government became an easy target of the Mafia by trying to enforce the 18th amendment, and bootlegging, or the selling of illegal alcohol, was born. The unions were overtaken, and as a result distribution to the Mafia owned illegal bars known as “speak easies”, could occur (Fred J. Cook 52). Any man or organization opposing the Mafia would lose his life. Henceforth, the selling of protection grew. Instead of a semi - feudal, exclusively Sicilian association, the Mafia was Americanized to reflect the diverse character and lush...