Share
Explore BrainMass

La Cosa Nostra and illicit activities

Analyze the relationship of the La Cosa Nostra Italian-American crime family to its past and to its current role in prohibition, drug syndicates, political corruption, and other illicit activities.

Please include references.

Solution Preview

La Cosa Nostra means, "This thing of ours" when translated in English. This thing of ours means a loyalty and a lifestyle which was taken from the old Italy and brought to America. Alcohol in the early 1900s was the cause of many problems in every aspect of American life. Men tended to be the heaviest drinkers and it affected their home lives drastically. Many domestic abuse instances were prevalent and often times men would lose their jobs to alcoholism. America recognized this problem and introduced the Volstead Act which made the manufacture, possession, transport, or consume any alcohol. The Italian American mafia recognized that many Americans were alcoholics and relied heavily on their drinking, and began to supply alcohol to establishments all over the country. There were very high profits to be made transporting, intercepting, and distributing illegal alcohol; this is also known as bootlegging. Bootlegging was very lucrative as the profits were high, but the violence that accompanied it was overwhelming. The mafia ascended in power as their finances and their control grew to an amazing high as a result of bootlegging. The mafia became so powerful that they established their control in law enforcement officials, politicians, business owners, and even the US military. Once ...

Solution Summary

The solution describes the rise and fall of the American Italian mafia as it experienced prohibition, RICO, and the US Patriot ACT.

$2.19