Unit 1 - The consumption of alcohol is often practiced in...

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The consumption of alcohol is often practiced in America. It is a socially acceptable drink to have at dinners, parties, or merely as a beverage when one is of age, 21 years old. It surrounds our lives, whether it be physically present or through advertisements, society is overwhelmed with this substance and even those underage will find the means to possess and consume it. Like the minors, people during the Prohibition Era had to hide, trade, and deal for their share of the drink. On January 16th, 1919, the 18th Amendment was passed prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors and was repealed on December 5, 1933 by the 21st Amendment. During those fourteen years, the practice of selling alcohol was a huge business that rewarded those who were willing to take the risk. Businessmen, mobsters, political figures and the average citizen all contributed to the bootlegging business, the illegal selling and possession of alcohol. In that time period, one of the most infamous mobsters in America developed and made a fortune in Chicago from the moonshine,alcohol, business. Alphonse Capone intertwined his relationship with the gang world with an entreprenuial mentality to utilize the lust of the people to make a living. This led to the industrialization of the United States and the culture of the Swinging Twenties. Beyond the general knowledge about Al Capone, I know very little about his cultural impact during the Prohibition Era in Chicago. My previous history classes had mentioned very little about this time period beyond the political aspect of the Amendments passed during that time- even though it is one of the most controversial events in the 20th century. How is a figure like Al Capone and the Prohibition Era not taught extensively? With alcohol bombarding American society, I felt it would be interesting to learn more how mobsters, such as Capone, utilized the substance to create a mass fortune and build an enterprise that altered the city of Chicago, the
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people who lived in that area, and political power. How was Capone able to illegally develop and integrate a culture and lifestyle into America? Why was society willing to disregard the law? Was Capone's involvement in a mob enbedding fear into the people of Chicago? Capone was born in Naples, Italy on January 17, 1899 and immigrated to the United States as a child. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York and dropped out of school when he was twelve and was part of a streetgang. The adolescent development around a high crime area and a poverish environment, which likely affected his experiences and decisions not only as a child but for his life. Although he was part of a gang as a child, he still provided his share to the family, working boring jobs at paper mill factories and bartending at hotels, and came home every night to help his mother (Bardsley). This reveals that Capone had a working mentality even when he was little and although he might have lacked educational genuis, he possessed a high level of street smart. His willingness to work would guide him into becoming a very sucessful businessman. He
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2011 for the course ENG 102 taught by Professor Molly during the Fall '10 term at Boise State.

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Unit 1 - The consumption of alcohol is often practiced in...

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