Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Historical Studies

Project Advisor 1

Myra Armstead

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This essay examines the role of organized crime in local, state and federal politics during the 1920s era of Prohibition. More specifically, it interrogates how these relationships affected the social, political, cultural and economic climate of New York City. The three organizations that will be examined are (1) the municipal political machine at Tammany Hall, (2) the Italian­American Mafia and (3) the federal organizations established as a result of the Progressive Reform Movement. Primary evidence consists of a series of articles from the N ew York Times and other accounts from individuals involved with any of these three interest groups. Secondary sources consists of academic articles from intellectual and political historians, including mafia historians as well as several biographers. Argued here is that each of the above mentioned institutions were able to establish their own m odels of efficiency in order to achieve each of their desired ends. These goals are investigated in regards to the structure of these organizations, which in various cases chose to structure themselves as being organized as either from the top down, or conversely from the bottom up. Explored here is how each of these structures, when adopted, led to both advantages and disadvantages for the organization using them. The leaders of these organizations are then brought into question by looking at their own primary accounts or accounts from people close to them.

Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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