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Crime and the “Prohibition Era” By: Cliff Wagner.

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Presentation on theme: "Crime and the “Prohibition Era” By: Cliff Wagner."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crime and the “Prohibition Era” By: Cliff Wagner

2 Prohibition Era  1919-1933  Eighteenth amendment made the selling of alcohol banned nationally, starting the Prohibition Era.  1,520 federal agents were given the job of enforcing the new law.  The Volstead Act which was the common name for the National Prohibition Act was the enabling legislation for the Eighteenth amendment  A reverend and former baseball player Billy Sunday said at the start of prohibition "The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs. Men will walk upright now, women will smile and children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent."  Everybody at the time thought that prohibition would improve the country and make it a better place, but they were wrong.

3 Medicinal Purposes  Alcohol was given by doctors prior to the Prohibition Era the for medicinal purposes, and they fought in court to have the act repealed in medicine so they could continue to prescribe it legally.

4 Crime  Crime was supposed to decrease during the prohibition era, but instead the number of crimes increased.  People began making moonshine, an illegal distilled alcoholic beverage, at their homes  Crime also became more organized.  Criminal groups were formed to create income by providing the following victimless crimes: alcohol, drugs, gambling, and prostitution

5 Organized Crime  While providing those goods and services criminal organizations resort to real crimes in defense of sales territories, brand names, and labor contracts. An example is crime syndicates (the Mafia) as well as street gangs criminal groups that first surfaced during prohibition.Bootleg alcohol was a major part of organized crime during this period.  With liquor no longer available to legally buy, people turned to gangsters to buy it. These criminal groups became more involved in the money-making business as a result.  Because money was used in the industry of bootleg alcohol violence increased. Rivalries between gangs caused an increase in victim crimes and more people were killed.  There were over four hundred gang related murders in the city of Chicago

6 6 The Mafia  The Mafia is one of the biggest and most well known crime groups of this time period.  Most Mafia members were young male immigrants.  The Mafia and other crime groups brought more than 1 million gallons of Bootleg liquor into the United States by the late 1920’s.

7  A police officer with his wrecked automobile and moonshine that he had confiscated.

8 8 Al Capone

9 9  Al Capone was the most famous gangster of the Prohibition Era.  His criminal group known as the Capones was dedicated to smuggling and bootleg liquor in Chicago from 1921-1933.  He moved to Chicago in his early twenties, after dropping out of school in New York, to take advantage of new crime opportunities.  He also was involved in other criminal activities like bribery and prostitution.  Capone became a public figure and part the money he illegally made he donated to charity organizations. He was viewed as a modern day “Robin Hood”

10 10 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre  The Saint Valentine's Day massacre was the murder of seven people as part of a prohibition era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago, in 1929: the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran.  Because of this Capone gained a bad reputation in the public because of this.

11 11 Conviction  Al Capone was indicted on tax invasion and later violations of the Volstead Act in 1931, two years before prohibition ended. The headline shows Capone’s conviction and how it was a bigger headline than Thomas Edison’s death.

12 Crime Stats During Prohibition  The following are statistics detailing how much worse crime got during the prohibition era:  Police funding: INCREASED $11.4 Million  Arrests for Prohibition Las Violations: INCREASED 102+%  Arrests for Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct: INCREASED 41%  Arrests of Drunken Drivers: INCREASED 81%  Thefts and Burglaries: INCREASED 9%  Homicides, Assault, and Battery: INCREASED 13%  Number of Federal Convicts: INCREASED 561%  Federal Prison Population: INCREASED 366%  Total Federal Expenditures on Penal Institutions: INCREASED 1,000%

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