Al Capone and Probation

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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 along with his image of power, money, and wickedness#. Using the funds that he had collected from his bootlegging operations, Capone ensured that friends were elected to certain political positions, which in turn, amplified his control over Chicago#.

Alphonsus Capone was born on January 17, 1899 in Brooklyn, New York. Capone quit school in the sixth grade at age fourteen. He became part of the notorious Five Points gang in Manhattan and worked in gangster Frankie Yales Harvard Inn as a bouncer and bartender. While in New York Capone murdered two men and hospitalized a rival gang member, however he was tried for his crimes. With a reputation for a willingness to kill, Yale sent Capone to Chicago to work as a bodyguard.#

Capone arrived in Chicago in 1919 and started to work for head mobster John Torrio.# Soon he was helping Torrio manage his bootlegging business and increasing the territory of gang control. Capone eventually became Torrios full partner in saloons, gambling houses, brothels, nightclubs, distilleries and breweries and earned a reported income of $30,000,000 a year from liquor alone#. Capone expanded his control into the suburbs to the extend that some places became known as Caponeville.# When Torrio was shot by rival gang members and consequently decided to leave Chicago and the outfit, he reportedly told Capone, Its 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, Capones gang moved into high places of government, into legitimate businesses, labour unions, employers 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 prohibitions 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

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