History of the Mafia in New York
The mafia in New York began when thousands of Italians moved there in the late 1800s and early 1900s to find a better life. At this time many Irish and German people also moved to the US for the same reasons. Many of these people set up businesses or worked for businesses that were already there. Most earned very little money and some, who were tired of being poor, decided to earn money from crime, which was easier than earning money by working. There were many Irish and Italian criminal groups in the city, who would steal, extort and murder for money.
Prohibition, Unification and the Castellammarese War
In 1910 alcohol was made illegal in the US and the gangs had a new way to make money. They brought in illegal liquor from Canada and sold it in clubs. They bribed police into letting them sell liquor and made millions of dollars from this, because they were the only ones who had liquor and so could sell it at extremely high prices.
Around this time the gangs in New York became one large gang (the Mafia) as leaders of the gangs realized that more money could be made if all the gangs worked together. A man named Giuseppe Masseria and a man named Salvatore Maranzano both wanted to become the boss of the newly made New York mafia.
Fighting, known as the "Castellammarese War", broke out between the two men and many of their soldiers were killed. Giuseppe Masseria's underboss was a man named Lucky Luciano, who also wanted to control the New York mafia. He met Masseria's enemy Salvatore Maranzano and plotted to kill Masseria, his own boss. Masseria was shot to death in a restaurant in New York by Maranzano's soldiers;
With the death of Masseria, Maranzano appointed himself the boss of the New York Mafia, in Italian language called the "Capo di tutti Capi" meaning "Boss of all Bosses". He called a meeting with the other "mafiosi" from all over the US and made the rules that are still used today.
The bosses of the five families, particularly Luciano, began to grow tired of Maranzano's arrogance and the way he ran the mafia. Maranzano realized this and planned to have Luciano and his "consigliere" and "underboss", Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, as well as others, killed. Maranzano did not act quickly enough and was killed by men dressed as police officers, on the orders of Luciano and his friend, a Jewish gangster from Florida, named Meyer Lansky. Luciano then became the head of the New York mafia, but not in the way Maranzano was; he helped the five families run their business but he did not control them or call himself the "boss of bosses".
for the same reasons– ugyanezen okból
to set up a business – vállalkozást indítani
to be tired of … - belefáradni valamibe
to extort – kicsikar, kierőszakol, zsarol
prohibition - szesztilalom, tilalom
unification - egyesítés
to bribe - megveszteget
to let somebody do something - hagyja, hogy valaki csináljon valamit
enemy - ellenség
to plot – kieszel, kitervel
to appoint – megnevez, kijelöl
dressed as … - …-nak öltözött