Mafia’s Rise in America
Long before prohibition turned the Italian mafia into a powerful criminal empire, it found its beginnings in Europe. The Sicilian mafia was first established during the 19th century, where it served as vigilantes protecting people from the ruling oppression. They developed powerful professional networks and came to be a formidable organization.
In the 19th century, waves of Italian immigrants came to the United States. They sought to escape poverty and seek better lives for themselves and their families. With them came the mafia. The organization sought to maintain the same power, using violence and intimidation to achieve its goals in the non-Italian sections of the US. With Prohibition, the mafia benefitted, taking advantage of the law by getting involved in illegal activities and creating a huge empire.
The Role of Gangster Movies
Gangster movies of the 1920s and 30s depicted the mafia in a positive light, ignoring the illegal activities they were involved in and instead focussing on more romantic notions, such as honour and loyalty. This romantic reputation meant that the mafia was seen as something of a hero by the public and the organisation capitalised on this by making grand steps to further their criminal empire.
Experts suggest that movies of this era, such as the iconic Unbbered Men, romanticised the gangster lifestyle and downplayed the negative aspects of it. It showed America that the mafia, who usually remained in the shadows, could be an easy and sizeable target for criminal activity.
Gangster Movies’ Influence on the American Mafia
The influence of gangster movies on the American mafia has been significant. The mafia has enjoyed such a level of power and influence, largely due to its successful establishment and evolution within the United States. Gangster movies in the 30’s and 40’s played a huge role in this success.
Gangster movies glorified the lifestyles of those in the mafia, making it seem cooler and more desirable than it really was. The public began to think of the mafia almost as celebrities, and so were willing to overlook their criminal activity and involvement in illegal activities such as alcohol, drugs, and prostitution.
The continued glamorisation of the mafia in movie form also helped shield the organisation from the legal consequences that they should have faced at the time. It helped normalize the criminal activities that members of the organisation were engaging in.
The Decline of American Mafia
However, in the later years of the 20th century, the American mafia began to decline. The mafia was hit hard by the law enforcement, who began to understand the criminal activities they were engaging in and the need to combat it.
The law saw gangster movies as part of the problem, as they were pushing the wrong message and enabling the criminal activities that members of the mafia were engaging in.
The decline of the mafia in America has been largely attributed to new laws, better police forces, and changes to public perception. The law enforcement had improved its ability to combat organised crime, through better intelligence and law enforcement tactics. The public had also become much more aware of the dangers of the mafia and had grown to have a much more negative view of it.
The Legacy of American Mafia
Today, the American mafia is much less powerful than it once was. It is still alive, however, but it is forced to operate under the radar and has little influence compared to what it had in the previous decades.
The rise and decline of the American mafia is an interesting story, but one that has left a lasting legacy. The mafia has helped inspire countless books and movies, and while they may not have as much power as they used to, they are still remembered with a mix of fear, respect, and nostalgia.
Modern Reflection of Gangster Movies
In modern times, the reflection of gangster movies on the American mafia has changed. People are still interested in the stories of mobsters and their exploits, but the glamour that was once associated with them is gone.
Modern movies and television shows still feature gangsters and crime organisations, but rarely in a romanticised way. They often seek to bring out the truth behind what it truly means to be a gangster, by exposing the dark and dangerous aspects of the lifestyle.
The modern American public is much more informed about the mafia and their criminal activities, and as such are much less likely to view them glamorously. This is a good thing, as it helps to paint an accurate and less dangerous picture of organised crime in the US.
American Mafia’s Global Influence
Even though the American mafia has declined in power, the organisation has made its mark on the world. The mafia has spread its influence around the world, as it is now active in countries in both Europe and South America.
The mafia has changed significantly over the years. While they still engage in criminal activities, they are much more involved in legitimate business operations. The mafia has invested in everything from real estate to hospitality and even the stock market.
These activities are much less dangerous and illegal, although they are still unethical. The mafia has become much more sophisticated, and sometimes their wealth translates into more conventional and accepted forms of power and influence.
Clash between The Law and The Mafia
The law had become much more adept at catching organised criminals in the long and hard fight against the American mafia. The mafia has seen its members brought to justice, with harsh sentences handed down, ranging from long prison sentences to even death.
The American public has grown to have a much less romanticised view of the mafia, and the organisation is now viewed as nothing more than a group of criminals who seek to use power and violence to benefit financially.
The laws had improved greatly since the days of Prohibition, better securing the country from large scale organised crime. The fight against the mafia is still ongoing, and law enforcement agencies around the world continue to be vigilant in their fight against them.
Gangster Movies and the Widening Gap
The effect of gangster movies on the American mafia has been huge. It had created a false idea of the mafia and their activities, leading to a much more glamorous and exciting portrayal of their lifestyle.
This glamorisation had helped widen the gap between the law and the mafia, allowing them to get away with more criminal activities than they should have. However, the impact of this widening gap has lessened over the years, as modern films and television shows are more likely to reveal the truth behind the mafia’s activities.
This helps to create a better public understanding of the mafia and their activities, making it easier for law enforcement to fight back against them.