Repeal of Prohibition in the United States
The repeal of Prohibition in the United States was accomplished with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 5, 1933. In 1919, the requisite number of state legislatures ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, enabling national prohibition one year later. Many women, notably members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, were pivotal in bringing about national Prohibition in the United States, believing it would protect families and children from the effects of alcohol abuse. Around 1820, "the typical adult white American male consumed nearly a half pint of whiskey a day". Historian W. J. Rorabaugh, writing on the factors that brought about the start of the temperance movement, Prohibition in the United States, states: As whiskey consumption rose after the American Revolution, it attracted attention. Medical doctors were among the first to notice the increase. More patients were having the shakes from involuntary withdrawal from alcohol, delirium tremens nightmares and psychoses were on the rise, solo drinking of massive quantities in binges that ended with the drinker passing out became the new drinking pattern.
Doctors such as Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and onetime chief physician of the Continental Army, who had first warned against the overuse of whiskey and other distilled spirits during the Revolution, became alarmed. Experts recognized that over time, drinkers needed to increase their use of alcohol to gain the same sense of euphoric satisfaction from drinking. Down that road was chronic drunkenness or what would be called alcoholism. Medical schools included warnings to students, but most physicians in the early 1800s believed that alcohol was an important medicine. Physicians favored laudanum, opium dissolved in alcohol. Laudanum miraculously ended the craving for alcohol. Children's nurses used laudanum to quiet babies. To Rush, the issue was not just about health, he published many newspaper pamphlets hostile to distilled spirits. His best known work, An Inquiry into the Effects of Spirituous Liquors, went through at least twenty-one editions and had sold 170,000 copies by 1850.
The Philadelphia doctor argued that democracy would be perverted and destroyed if voters were drunken sots. Public safety in a republic required an electorate capable of wise judgment about political matters. Drunkenness made for bad voters. Rush and others worried about how distilled spirits damaged society in terms of crime and family violence. Many serious crimes, including murder, were committed under the influence of alcohol; the unemployed or unemployable drunkard abandoned his family s that the wife and children sometimes faced starvation while the husband and father debauched himself. Liquor use was associated with gambling and prostitution, which brought financial ruin and sexually transmitted diseases. Drunkenness led to wife beating and child abuse. To many Americans, it appeared that the United States could not be a successful republic unless alcoholic passions were curbed; the proponents of National Prohibition believed that banning alcoholic beverages would reduce or eliminate many social problems drunkenness, domestic violence, mental illness, secondary poverty.
Some scholarly literature regarding the effect of prohibition has held that popular claim that prohibition was a failure is false. Prohibition was successful in reducing the amount of liquor consumed, cirrhosis death rates, admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis, arrests for public drunkennness, rates of absenteeism. Mark H. Moore, a professor at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, with respect to the effects of prohibition: Alcohol consumption declined during Prohibition. Cirrhosis death rates for men were 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 and 10.7 in 1929. Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis declined from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928. Arrests for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct declined 50 percent between 1916 and 1922. For the population as a whole, the best estimates are that consumption of alcohol declined by 30 percent to 50 percent. "rates for cirrhosis of the liver fell by 50 percent early in Prohibition and recovered promptly after Repeal in 1933."
Moore found that contrary to popular opinion, "violent crime did not increase during Prohibition" and that organized crime "existed before and after" Prohibition. The historian Jack S. Blocker Jr. stated that "Death rates from cirrhosis and alcoholism, alcoholic psychosis hospital admissions, drunkenness arrests all declined steeply during the latter years of the 1910s, when both the cultural and the legal climate were inhospitable to drink, in the early years after National Prohibition went into effect." In addition, "once Prohibition became the law of the land, many citizens decided to obey it". During the Prohibition era, rates of absenteeism decreased from 10% to 3%. In Michigan, the Ford Motor Company documented "a decrease in absenteeism from 2,620 in April 1918 to 1,628 in May 1918." Journalist H. L. Mencken, writing in 1925, believed the opposite to be true:Five years of Prohibition have had, at least, this one benign effect: they have disposed of all the favorite arguments of the Prohibitionists.
None of the great boons and usufructs that were to follow the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has come to pass. There is not more. There is not more. There is not more; the cost of government is not vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminishe
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. During the nineteenth century, family violence, saloon-based political corruption prompted prohibitionists, led by pietistic Protestants, to end the alcoholic beverage trade to cure the ill society and weaken the political opposition. One result was that many communities in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries introduced alcohol prohibition, with the subsequent enforcement in law becoming a hotly debated issue. Prohibition supporters, called "drys", presented it as a victory for public morals and health. Promoted by the "dry" crusaders, the movement was led by pietistic Protestants and social Progressives in the Prohibition and Republican parties, it gained a national grass roots base through the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. After 1900, it was coordinated by the Anti-Saloon League. Opposition from the beer industry mobilized "wet" supporters from the Catholic and German Lutheran communities.
They had funding to fight back, but by 1917–18 the German community had been marginalized by the nation's war against Germany, the brewing industry was shut down in state after state by the legislatures and nationwide under the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. Enabling legislation, known as the Volstead Act, set down the rules for enforcing the federal ban and defined the types of alcoholic beverages that were prohibited. For example, religious use of wine was allowed. Private ownership and consumption of alcohol were not made illegal under federal law, but local laws were stricter in many areas, with some states banning possession outright. Criminal gangs were able to gain control of the liquor supply for many cities. By the late-1920s a new opposition mobilized nationwide. Wets attacked prohibition as causing crime, lowering local revenues, imposing "rural" Protestant religious values on "urban" United States. Prohibition ended with the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 5, 1933.
Some states continued statewide prohibition. Research shows that prohibition reduced overall alcohol consumption by half during the 1920s, consumption remained below pre-Prohibition levels until the 1940s, suggesting that Prohibition did socialize a significant proportion of the population in temperate habits, at least temporarily. Rates of liver cirrhosis "fell by 50% early in Prohibition and recovered promptly after Repeal in 1933." Criticism remains that Prohibition led to unintended consequences such as a century of Prohibition-influenced legislation and the growth of urban crime organizations, though some scholars have argued that violent crime did not increase while others have argued that crime during the Prohibition era was properly attributed to increased urbanization, rather than the criminalization of alcohol use. As an experiment it lost supporters every year, lost tax revenue that governments needed when the Great Depression began in 1929. In the United States, once the battle against slavery was won, social moralists turned to other issues, such as Mormon polygamy and the temperance movement.
On November 18, 1918, prior to ratification of the Eighteenth Amendment, the U. S. Congress passed the temporary Wartime Prohibition Act, which banned the sale of alcoholic beverages having an alcohol content of greater than 1.28%. The Wartime Prohibition Act took effect June 30, 1919, with July 1, 1919 becoming known as the "Thirsty-First"; the U. S. Senate proposed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 18, 1917. Upon being approved by a 36th state on January 16, 1919, the amendment was ratified as a part of the Constitution. By the terms of the amendment, the country went dry one year on January 17, 1920. On October 28, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto; the act established the legal definition of intoxicating liquors as well as penalties for producing them. Although the Volstead Act prohibited the sale of alcohol, the federal government lacked resources to enforce it. Prohibition was successful in reducing the amount of liquor consumed, cirrhosis death rates, admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis, arrests for public drunkenness, rates of absenteeism.
While some allege that Prohibition stimulated the proliferation of rampant underground and widespread criminal activity, many academics maintain that there was no increase in crime during the Prohibition era and that such claims are "rooted in the impressionistic rather than the factual." By 1925, there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs in New York City alone. Wet opposition talked of personal liberty, new tax revenues from legal beer and liquor, the scourge of organized crime. On March 22, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Cullen–Harrison Act, legalizing beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% and wine of a low alcohol content. On December 5, 1933, ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment repealed the Eighteenth Amendment. However, United States federal law still prohibits the manufacture of distilled spirits without meeting numerous licensing requirements that make it impractical to produce spirits for personal beverage use. Consumption of alcoholic beverages has been a contentious topic in America since the colonial period.
In May 1657, the General Court of Massachusetts made the sale of strong li
Waldorf Astoria New York
The Waldorf Astoria New York is a luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The hotel has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York; the first, bearing the same name, was built in two stages, as the Waldorf Hotel and the Astoria Hotel, which accounts for its dual name. That original site was situated on Astor family properties along Fifth Avenue, opened in 1893, designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, it was demolished in 1929 to make way for the construction of the Empire State Building. The present building, at 301 Park Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, is a 47-story 190.5 m Art Deco landmark designed by architects Schultze and Weaver, completed in 1931. The current hotel was the world's tallest hotel from 1931 until 1963, when it was surpassed by Moscow's Hotel Ukraina by 7 metres. An icon of glamour and luxury, the current Waldorf Astoria is one of the world's most prestigious and best known hotels. Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts is a division of Hilton Hotels, a portfolio of high-end properties around the world now operate under the name, including in New York City.
From its inception, the Waldorf Astoria gained international renown for its lavish dinner parties and galas at the center of political and business conferences and fundraising schemes involving the rich and famous. After World War II it played a significant role in world politics and the Cold War, culminating in the controversial World Peace Conference of March 1949 at the hotel, in which Stalinism was denounced. Conrad Hilton acquired management rights to the hotel on October 12, 1949, the Hilton Hotels Corporation bought the hotel outright in 1972, it underwent a $150 million renovation by Lee Jablin in the 1980s and early 1990s, in October 2014 it was announced that the Anbang Insurance Group of China had purchased the Waldorf Astoria New York for US$1.95 billion, making it the most expensive hotel sold. On July 1, 2016, Anbang announced that it would convert some of the Waldorf's hotel rooms into condominiums, closing the hotel for a three-year renovation on March 1, 2017; the Waldorf Astoria and Towers has a total of 1,413 hotel rooms as of 2014.
In 2009, when it had 1,416 rooms, the main hotel had 1,235 single and double rooms and 208 mini suites, while the Waldorf Towers, from the 28th floor up to the 42nd, had 181 rooms, of which 115 were suites, with one to four bedrooms. Several of the luxury suites are named after celebrities who lived or stayed in them such as the Cole Porter Suite, the Royal Suite, named after the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the MacArthur Suite and the Churchill Suite; the most expensive room, the Presidential Suite, is designed with Georgian-style furniture to emulate that of the White House. It was the residence of Herbert Hoover from his retirement for over 30 years, Frank Sinatra kept a suite at the Waldorf from 1979 until 1988; the hotel has three main restaurants: Peacock Alley, The Bull and Bear Steak House, La Chine—a new Chinese restaurant that replaced Oscar's Brasserie in late 2015. Sir Harry's Bar located in the hotel, is named after British explorer Sir Harry Johnston; the name of the hotel is derived from the town of Walldorf in Germany, the ancestral home of the prominent German-American Astor family who originated there.
The hotel was known as the Waldorf-Astoria with a single hyphen, as recalled by a popular expression and song, "Meet Me at the Hyphen". The sign was changed to a double hyphen, looking similar to an equals sign, by Conrad Hilton when he purchased the hotel in 1949; the double hyphen visually represents "Peacock Alley", the hallway between the two hotels that once stood where the Empire State building now stands today. The use of the double hyphen was discontinued by parent company Hilton in 2009, shortly after the introduction of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts chain; the hotel has since been known as the Waldorf Astoria New York, without any hyphen, though this is sometimes shortened to the Waldorf Astoria. The original hotel started as two hotels on Fifth Avenue built by feuding relatives; the first hotel, the 13-story, 450-room Waldorf Hotel, designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh in the German Renaissance style, was opened on March 13, 1893, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, on the site where millionaire developer William Waldorf Astor had his mansion.
The original hotel stood 225 feet high, with a frontage of about 100 feet on Fifth Avenue, with an area of 69,475 square feet. The original hotel was described as having a "lofty stone and brick exterior", "animated by an effusion of balconies, alcoves and loggias beneath a tile roof bedecked with gables and turrets". William Astor, motivated in part by a dispute with his aunt Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, had built the Waldorf Hotel next door to her house, on the site of his father's mansion; the hotel was built to the specifications of founding proprietor George Boldt, who owned and operated the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, a fashionable hotel on Broad Street in Philadelphia, with his wife Louise. Boldt was described as "Mild mannered, unassuming", resembling "a typical German professor with his close-cropped beard which he kept fastidiously trimmed... and his pince-nez glasses on a black silk cord". Boldt continued to own the Bellevue after his relationship with the Astors blossomed.
At first, the Waldorf appeared destined for failure. It was a laughing stock with its high number of bathrooms and was known as "Boldt's Folly" or "Astor's Folly", with the general perception of the palatial hotel being that it had no place in New York City. Wealthy New Yorkers were angry because they viewed the construction of the hotel as
James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr.
James Wolcott Wadsworth Jr. was a Republican politician from New York. He was the son of New York State Comptroller James Wolcott Wadsworth, the grandson of Union General James S. Wadsworth. Wadsworth was born in Geneseo, New York on August 12, 1877, he was the son of Louisa Wadsworth. His paternal grandparents were Mary Craig Wadsworth, his grandfather built a 13,000 square-foot house in Geneseo in 1835. Wadsworth attended St. Mark's School graduated from Yale in New Haven, Connecticut in 1898, where he was a member of Skull and Bones. After Yale, he served as a private in the Volunteer Army in the Puerto Rican Campaign during the Spanish–American War. Upon leaving the Army, he entered the livestock and farming business, first in New York and Texas, he became active early in Republican politics. He was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910. In 1911, while Wadsworth was on a European tour, he met his aunt, Cornelia Wadsworth Ritchie Adair, the widow of Irish businessman John George Adair.
She maintained residences at Glenveagh Castle in Ireland and at the JA Ranch in the Texas Panhandle that her husband had financed. Mrs. Adair invited Wadsworth to become general manager of the JA, located southeast of Amarillo; the ranch was begun by her second husband, John "Jack" Adair, his partner, the legendary Texas cattleman Charles Goodnight. Wadsworth accepted his aunt's offer and ran the ranch until 1915, when he took his U. S. Senate seat, he once joked that he "had no change of clothes for twelve days and expected the Board of Health to be after me." Wadsworth was succeeded as JA manager by Timothy Dwight Hobart. In 1912, he ran for Lieutenant Governor of New York on the Republican ticket with Job. E. was defeated. In 1914, at the first popular election for the U. S. Senate, Wadsworth defeated Progressive Bainbridge Colby. Wadsworth was the Senate Minority Whip in 1915 because the Democrats held the majority of Senate seats, he was re-elected in 1920, but defeated by Democrat Robert F. Wagner in 1926.
In 1921, Wadsworth was considered for the post of Secretary of War by President Warren G. Harding but was passed over in favor of John W. Weeks. Wadsworth was a proponent of individual rights and feared what he considered the threat of federal intervention into the private lives of Americans, he believed that the only purpose of the United States Constitution is to limit the powers of government and to protect the rights of citizens. For this reason, he voted against the Eighteenth Amendment. Before Prohibition went into effect, Wadsworth predicted that there would be widespread violations and contempt for the law. By the mid-1920s, Wadsworth was one of a handful of congressmen who spoke out forcefully and against prohibition, he was concerned that citizens could be prosecuted by both state and federal officials for a single violation of prohibition law. This seemed to him to constitute double jeopardy, inconsistent with the spirit if not the letter of the Fifth Amendment; the Fifth Amendment in criminal cases prevents two trials for the same offense in the same level of court, not two trials for the same charge in separate state and national jurisdictions.
In 1926, he joined the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment and made 131 speeches across the country for the organization between and repeal. His political acumen and contacts proved valuable in overturning prohibition, he served as a United States Representative from 1933 to 1951, like Alton Lennon, Garrett Withers, Claude Pepper, Matthew M. Neely, is one of the few modern Senators to serve in the House of Representatives. In the House of Representatives he opposed the isolationism of many of his conservative Republican colleagues, opposed anti-lynching legislation on state's rights grounds, rejected minimum wage laws and most of FDR's domestic policy. Although Wadsworth never ran for president, his name was mentioned as a possible candidate in 1936 and 1944. A confidential 1943 analysis of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Isaiah Berlin for the British Foreign Office described Wadsworth as A newcomer to the committee. A respected and well-liked Congressman, who has voted in support of nearly all the President's foreign policy measures.
One of the most forceful and independent-minded men in Congress and a skilled parliamentarian. While not favoring any "World New Deal", he is in favor of American co-operation with the rest of the world and United States definite commitments to establish a secure peace, but disagrees with any attempt by the United States to interfere with other nations' internal politics or forms of government. A effective supporter of the Administration's foreign policies, who did yeoman service by his speeches and active lobbying during the recent Lend-Lease debate. Was in the Senate from 1915-27. A wealthy Episcopalian squire, sympathetic to Moral Re-Armament. Age 66. An internationalist, he was a hereditary companion of Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and was a member of the United Spanish War Veterans. Wadsworth was married to Alice Evelyn Hay, she was the daughter of former United States Secretary of State John Hay under President Theodore Roosevelt. Through her sister Helen Hay Whitney, she was the aunt of John Hay W
Prohibition is the act or practice of forbidding something by law. The word is used to refer to a period of time during which such bans are enforced; some kind of limitation on the trade in alcohol can be seen in the Code of Hammurabi banning the selling of beer for money. It could only be bartered for barley: "If a beer seller do not receive barley as the price for beer, but if she receive money or make the beer a measure smaller than the barley measure received, they shall throw her into the water."In the Western world, one of the great moral issues of the nineteenth century was slavery, but once that battle was won, social moralists turned to their next targets, one of, prohibition. In the early twentieth century, much of the impetus for the prohibition movement in the Nordic countries and North America came from moralistic convictions of pietistic Protestants. Prohibition movements in the West coincided with the advent of women's suffrage, with newly empowered women as part of the political process supporting policies that curbed alcohol consumption.
The first half of the 20th century saw periods of prohibition of alcoholic beverages in several countries: 1907 to 1948 in Prince Edward Island, for shorter periods in other provinces in Canada 1907 to 1992 in the Faroe Islands. Rum-running or bootlegging became widespread, organized crime took control of the distribution of alcohol. Distilleries and breweries in Canada and the Caribbean flourished as their products were either consumed by visiting Americans or illegally exported to the United States. Chicago became notorious as a haven for prohibition dodgers during the time known as the Roaring Twenties. Prohibition came to an end in the late 1920s or early 1930s in most of North America and Europe, although a few locations continued prohibition for many more years. In some countries where the dominant religion forbids the use of alcohol, the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited or restricted today. For example, in Saudi Arabia and Libya alcohol is banned. Sale of alcohol is banned in Afghanistan.
In Bangladesh, alcohol is somewhat prohibited due to its proscription in the Islamic faith. However, the purchase and consumption is allowed in the country; the Garo tribe consume a type of rice beer, Christians in this country drink and purchase wine for their holy communion. In Brunei, alcohol consumption and sale is banned in public. Non-Muslims are allowed to purchase a limited amount of alcohol from their point of embarcation overseas for their own private consumption, non-Muslims who are at least the age of 18 are allowed to bring in not more than two bottles of liquor and twelve cans of beer per person into the country. In India alcohol is a state subject and individual states can legislate prohibition, but most states do not have prohibition and sale/consumption is available in 25 out of 29 states. Prohibition is in force in the states of Gujarat and Nagaland, parts of Manipur, the union territory of Lakshadweep. All other States and union territories of India permit the sale of alcohol.
Election days and certain national holidays such as Independence Day are meant to be dry days when liquor sale is not permitted but consumption is allowed. Some Indian states observe dry days on major religious festivals/occasions depending on the popularity of the festival in that region. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the sale and consumption of alcohol is banned in Iran. All people are banned from drinking alcohol but some people trade and sell it illegally. Alcohol sales are banned in small shops and convenience stores; the consumption and brewing of, trafficking in liquor is against the law. Alcohol is banned only for Muslims in Malaysia due to its Islamic sharia law. Alcoholic products can be found in supermarkets, specialty shops, convenience stores all over the country. Non-halal restaurants typically sell alcohol; the Maldives ban the import of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are available only to foreign tourists on resort islands and may not be taken off the resort. Pakistan allowed the free sale and consumption of alcohol for three decades from 1947, but restrictions were introduced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto just weeks before he was removed as prime minister in 1977.
Since only members of non-Muslim minorities such as Hindus and Zoroastrians are allowed to apply for alcohol permits. The monthly quota is dependent upon one's income, but is about five bottles of liquor or 100 bottles of beer. In a country of 180 million, only about 60 outlets are allowed to sell alcohol; the Murree Brewery in Rawalpindi was once the only legal brewery. The ban is enforced by the country's Islamic Ideology Council, but it is not policed. Members of religious minorities, however sell their liquor permits to Muslims as part of a continuing black market trade in alcohol. There are only rest
Grayson M.P. Murphy
Grayson Mallet-Prevost Murphy Sr. was an American banker and company director. He was a supporter of prohibition. Murphy attended Haverford College, he served as a volunteer in the Spanish–American War, attended the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1903. He was a lieutenant in the Philippine -- American War, in charge of 42nd Division, he was a recipient of the Army Distinguished Service Medal, as authorized by Congress on July 9, 1918. Murphy was a senior vice president of Guaranty Trust Company, he was Founder and Head of G. M.-P. Murphy & Co, he served on the boards of directors of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, Guaranty Trust Company, New York Trust Company, Bethlehem Steel, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, New York Railways, Fifth Avenue Coach Co. and Chicago Motor Coach Co.. Murphy was active in the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment and voiced his opposition to the 18th Amendment at a Congressional hearing, his efforts contributed to the repeal of prohibition in the United States.
He was the first European Commissioner of the American Red Cross during World War I. Murphy was implicated in the 1935'Business Plot' exposed by General Smedley Butler. Murphy was the chief commissioner of the American Red Cross in Europe, treasurer of the American Liberty League. Murphy died on October 1937 in Manhattan, New York City, his funeral was held at St. James Protestant Episcopal Church at Seventy-first Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. "Major Murphy Sees His Duty in Army". The New York Times. 1918-01-07. Retrieved 2009-01-06. Murphy, Grayson M.-P.. "What the American Red Cross has been doing the past year".: printed for distribution by the New England Division, American Red Cross.: 15 pages
The American Mafia or Italian-American Mafia is a organized Italian-American criminal society. The organization is referred to by members as Cosa Nostra and by the government as La Cosa Nostra; the organization's name is derived from the original Mafia or Cosa nostra, the Sicilian Mafia, it emerged as an offshoot of the Sicilian Mafia. It is colloquially referred to as the Italian Mafia or Italian Mob, though these terms may apply to the separate yet related Sicilian Mafia or other organized crime groups in Italy; the Mafia in the United States emerged in impoverished Italian immigrant neighborhoods or ghettos in New York's East Harlem, Lower East Side, Brooklyn. It emerged in other areas of the East Coast of the United States and several other major metropolitan areas during the late 19th century and early 20th century, following waves of Italian immigration from Sicily and other regions of Southern Italy, it is a separate organization in the United States. Neapolitan and other Italian criminal groups in the U.
S. as well as independent Italian-American criminals merged with Sicilian Mafiosi to create the modern pan-Italian Mafia in North America. Today, the American Mafia cooperates in various criminal activities with Italian organized crime groups, such as the Sicilian Mafia, the Camorra of Naples, and'Ndrangheta of Calabria; the most important unit of the American Mafia is that of a "family," as the various criminal organizations that make up the Mafia are known. Despite the name of "family" to describe the various units, they are not familial groupings; the Mafia is most active in the northeastern United States, with the heaviest activity in New York City, with a substantial presence in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New England, in areas such as Boston and Hartford. It is highly active in Chicago and other large Midwestern cities such as Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, a smaller presence in places like New Orleans, Denver, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, with smaller families and crews in other parts of the country.
At the Mafia's peak, there were at least 26 cities around the United States with Cosa Nostra families, with many more offshoots and associates in other cities. There are five main New York City Mafia families, known as the Five Families: the Gambino, Genovese and Colombo families. At its peak, the American Mafia dominated organized crime in the United States; each crime family has its own territory and operates independently, while nationwide coordination is overseen by the Commission, which consists of the bosses of each of the strongest families. Today, most of the Mafia's activities are contained to the northeastern United States and Chicago, where they continue to dominate organized crime, despite the increasing numbers of other crime groups; the term Mafia was used in Italy by the media and law enforcement to describe criminal groups in Sicily. The origins of the term are debatable, though most agree the term is derived from the word ma'afir, a term rooted in Arabic and meaning'shelter' or'place of refuge'.
Like the Sicilian Mafia, the American Mafia did not use the term mafia to describe itself. Neither group instead used the term cosa nostra when referring to themselves; when Italian immigrants started forming organized crime groups in the United States, the American press borrowed the term mafia from Italy and it became the predominant name used by law enforcement and the public."Mafia" properly refers to either the Sicilian or Italian-American Mafia. In modern usage, when referring to the Mafia, there may be several meanings, including a local area's Italian organized crime element, the Mafia family of a major city, the entire Mafia of the United States, or the original Sicilian Mafia. Widespread recognition of the word has led to its use in the names of other criminal organizations, such as the Jewish Mafia, Mexican Mafia, or Russian Mafia, as well as non-criminal organizations, such as John F. Kennedy's political team, referred to as the "Irish Mafia"; the press coined the name "National Crime Syndicate" to refer to the entire network of U.
S. organized crime, which includes the Italian-American Mafia. It was described as a confederation of Italian and Jewish-American organized crime groups throughout the U. S. as revealed by the findings of a U. S. Senate Special Committee in the 1950s chaired by Estes Kefauver; the first published account of what became the Mafia in the United States dates to the spring of 1869. The New Orleans Times reported that the city's Second District had become overrun by "well-known and notorious Sicilian murderers and burglars, who, in the last month, have formed a sort of general co-partnership or stock company for the plunder and disturbance of the city." Emigration from southern Italy to the Americas was to Brazil and Argentina, New Orleans had a heavy volume of port traffic to and from both locales. Mafia groups in the United States first became influential in the New York City area progressing from small neighb