The American Civil War : 1861-1865

The American Civil War : 1860-1865 photo

The American Civil War started with the secession crisis on April 12, 1861 and ended up with the assassination of Lincoln and the abolition of slavery on May 9, 1865. It transformed the political, economical and social life of the nation. It first began with a constitutional struggle and then became a test of federal authority but soon took a broader dimension. The initial belief it would be short proved tragically to be mistaken. The seceding states fought to achieve […]

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Repression and Censorship

Organization of the Repression With John Edgar Hoover, the FBI had certain successes in its fight against Organized Crime. The FBI was/is a federal agency that could/can work across the territory. Police forces were sometimes ill-trained because they faced very well organized murderers. 1933 saw the creation of the Bureau of Investigation (Justice), the Prohibition Bureau (department of the Treasury and eventually to the department of Justice) and the Bureau of Identification. The FBI emphasized figures to receive more subventions […]

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Evolution of Organized Crime

Evolution of Gangsterism 1929: Wall Street crash. The Prohibition is an attempt to decrease the revenue of alcohol. 1933: election of Franklin Roosevelt, who sets up the New Deal. 1934: Repeal of the Prohibition. Roosevelt had realized the importance of the ethnic vote, and especially the Catholic vote. Creation of the Work Progress Administration (W.P.A.): the state provides the jobs.The Organized Crime became less of a necessity. The vision of the gangster also evolved in the movies: he is now […]

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Organized Crime : Expression and Repression

Introduction There is a parallel between Organized Crime and the movie industry. Organized Crime was one of the ways for social climbing, of getting out of poverty and ethnic matters. In the main Hollywood studios, many directors were ethnics: Samuel Goldwyn and Louis Mayer (M.G.M. studios: Metro Goldwyn Mayer), David O. Selznick, Charles Chaplin… The cinema was a new technology founded by the elite, the ethnic entrepreneurs and the W.A.S.P. businessmen. Some innovative sections of business were opened for the […]

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Organized Crime and the Prohibition

Introduction You cannot really rely on newspapers articles. Recently, it featured the confessions of repenting organized crime members, i.e. the distort truth for their own interests. The police distorted the figures to get credit and money from the Federal Government. Organized crime was considered as a kind of un-american activity. Since more gangsters were ethnics (Jews, Russians, etc), calling them "un-american" was a way of dismissing american roots. In Scarface, the motto "the world is yours" highlights the ironic vision […]

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Organized Crime in America

Organized Crime in America (1929 – 1951) 1929: Wall Street crash, which forced gangsters to find a new wy of making money in a time of recession. 1951: middle of the Cold War. Kefauver hearings started the huge mystification of the Mafia, discovering that organized crime was still on in the U.S. First TV debates on organized crime. In history, gangsters and Organized Crime did exist. Between history and culture, there are matters of ideology: in what way does that […]

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O’Sullivan’s Manifest Destiny

Introduction O’Sullivan is one of the most famous journalist in American history. He is the one who coined the expression “Manifest Destiny”. He was a democrat and the official spokesman for American expansion (we should remember that Democrats standed for expansion whereas Republicans were against). O’Sullivan wrote two important articles: “the Great Nation of Futurity” in 1839 and “Annexation” in 1845, where he added a justification to American expansion. For O’Sullivan, the two major words were “manifest destiny” and “justification”. […]

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Life in the Plantations

Introduction Most slaves were forced to work long hours under close supervision. Most slaves could rely on their master for basic welfare: clothes, food and shelter. On many plantations, slaves grew their own garden and some even enjoyed a few holidays or received some rewards. Subjugation and resistance Concerning the problem of subjugation, the slaveholders tightly circumscribed the world of their slaves: they had to carry passes with them when they were off the plantation and were forbidden to go […]

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Social context of America in the early 19th century

Introduction In the late 18th century, the American constitution accepted the existence of slavery. It was considered as an institution: there have always been slaves from the 18th. They choose black slaves instead of Indians because of the trial of Valladolid, where people wondered if the Native was a man or simply an animal. It turned to be a theological problem: if the Native did not have a soul then he was an animal. In the end, they declared that […]

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The Reconstruction

Introduction The Civil War resolved 2 important questions that had not been addressed by the Founding Fathers: the question of sovereignty and the place of the States in the Union the question derived from the conflict about the constitutional protection of slavery With the collapse of the Confederacy, the Government confronted the difficult issue related to the readmission of the seceding States and the citizenship of former slaves. I. A new phase On April 13th 1865, President Lincoln and his […]

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Ante Bellum South

Introduction The South had developped a unique society and a sense of Southern nationalism. The conflict with the North and the secession were an attempt to create an independent nation. Also a contrast, the South having developped a class system whereas the North was characterized by a social structure. Ante Bellum South A Southern ideology -based on aristocracy- justified slavery. Many (crazy) explanations were put forward like: “the African race is biologically inferior” or “physically and mentally under-developped”. Through slavery, […]

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