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Al Capone was viewed by the authorities in the USA as public enemy number one. Do all the sources and your own knowledge of US society in the 1920s and 1930s support this view?

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Introduction

"Al Capone was viewed by the authorities in the USA as public enemy number one". Do all the sources and your own knowledge of US society in the 1920's and 1930's support this view? Holly Freeland Centre number: Candidate number: Didcot Girls School Al Capone wasn't public enemy number one. He was just selling illegal alcohol, which was seen as him just supplying public demand. This is shown in source H, where Al Capone quotes "I make my money by supplying popular demand". This backs up the fact that the public supported Al Capone. He also states "If I break the law, my customers are as guilty as I am". This implies that he's supplying the alcohol to public because it's in demand, and by buying his illegal alcohol it makes the public equally as awful as him. ...read more.

Middle

In the picture he is smartly dressed and smiling which makes him look approachable and harmless. The slogan below his name reads "a pink apron, a pan of spaghetti". The 'pan of spaghetti' tells us about his heritage and the 'pink apron' illustrates his almost feminine side. It also shows a friendly, homely image of Al Capone. The fact that he was on the cover of a magazine shows the public were intrigued by him. Al Capone was dangerous to the public and society making him public enemy number one. We know Al Capone was dangerous and violent as one evening at the beginning of his criminal career; he invited his rivals over under false pretences and by the end of the evening had beaten them all to death. ...read more.

Conclusion

This made it seem like Al Capone was running Chicago. There is also evidence of him being corrupt in source D, where he and other 'bootleggers' were bribing agents, who were underpaid, to keep the fact that they were selling illegal alcohol hidden. The quote from source D; "Diligence to supervise prohibition or to resist corruption", backs up my point. Al Capone was also involved in a range of crimes. For example, the violence used to get power, bootlegging, prostitution and protection rackets in which people paid Al Capone to protect them. This made him seem more unlawful and powerful. He also didn't pay his taxes for which he was finally put in the prison of Alcatraz. On the whole I think Al Capone was a number one enemy to the US government. He was also a threat to other gangs. However I do not think he was number one public enemy in citizen's eyes. ...read more.

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