• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Al Capone was viewed by the authorities in the USA as Public Enemy Number One. Do the sources, and your own knowledge of the US society in the 1920s and 1930s, support this view?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Prohibition Coursework - Question 5 Al Capone was viewed by the authorities in the USA as Public Enemy Number One. Do the sources, and your own knowledge of the US society in the 1920s and 1930s, support this view? Al Capone broke the law continually in his lifetime and there is no question over that. However, in my opinion, I do not think that he should be viewed as Public Enemy Number One. I believe that he was an enemy to the authorities but not to the public. There are a number of factors which support the US governments case but there are also many aspects which support my view. Source H is a quote from Al Capone in 1930. It was a statement made for anybody to hear. He calls himself a businessman, which is a respected citizen. He tells of how he "supplies a popular demand" (alcohol). This shows me that alcohol was still popular even though it had been banned. From the sources (in particular sources C, F and J) I can see that people generally had a negative attitude towards prohibition and mainly ignored this law; Lots just kept drinking alcohol in any case. Source E shows me this as the number of drinking offences rose considerably because of a rise in alcohol consumption. ...read more.

Middle

The picture shows Al smiling and gives a positive attitude towards him; this would make the public feel less threatened by him. TIME was a respected magazine published and sold all across the USA; this built up Capone's reputation and got him known in America and also internationally. Al Capone then became quite dangerous because as he manipulated the media, they in turn, used propaganda and other techniques to influence the general public. Capone had so much control that people at the time were unaware of. Al Capone not only manipulated people but also blackmailed and bribed people so that he got his own way. These people could be the general public but more often, it was the police. He made sure that he covered up his dirty work and always had an alibi. He became friends with a man called Bill Thompson. Bill stood for mayor of Chicago and together, they rigged the election so that he won. This meant that Al Capone had an associate in a position of power; however, it was not a democratic decision and people felt very threatened. Al Capone owned a lot of businesses in Chicago. He owned all the brothels and casinos as well as many illegal saloons known as speakeasies. ...read more.

Conclusion

People turned to alcohol to drown their sorrows and alleviate there fairly miserable lives. As Capone was supplying the drinks people respected him rather than the uncaring authority. The government spent a lot of money trying to catch Capone, which could have been used on making the publics lives better. They used Al Capone as a scapegoat and attempted to blame many extra problems on him. I feel that the authorities were making him out to be worse than he really was and aiming to turn the public against him and against the alcohol. I also believe that, as other countries mocked America (Source C), the government blamed Capone even more as they needed somebody to accuse. In conclusion, I think that it was only the government officials and rival gangs who did not like Al Capone. The general public were either on his side (by buying alcohol, etc) or did not really think about Al Capone, as he was so far away, and so were not threatened by him or against him. Many people respected Capone and in a small way admired him for his bravery and ability to flout the law. Many lower class people wished that they could be him and have the money that he did. In actual fact, not many people of the public truly hated Capone. Therefore, I believe that Al Capone was not really Public Enemy Number One. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. The Immorally rich people of the 1920s

    When this "Teapot Dome" scandal broke out, the president of the US attempted to defend this immoral act by saying that he had approved of this policy of leasing US land to private owners. In "The Great Gatsby", this corruption in the highest ranks of society was demonstrated when Jay

  2. Prohibition Sources Coursework.

    His job was to enforce Prohibition, as we have already learnt from source B. The section quoted as source F, is John F. Kramer telling people that the law must be obeyed and, if it is not, it will be enforced.

  1. The USA

    He was a president actually doing something for them and communicate with them using what he called the 'fireside chats', so the Americans know what the government was doing. Lots of Acts and organisations were set up. On his first day he elected as President, he immediately undertook the banking

  2. To what extent did America roar in the 1920s?

    In fact there were over 2000 newspapers printed in languages other than English. By 1920 there were 103 different nationalities living there and the idea was that America was like a melting pot where immigrants lost their old identity and became Americans.

  1. 'The causes and effects of the great depression caused equal suffering to all of ...

    Once more this shows that suffering was not equal through out Britain after the depression. It is also economic because the source aims to increase sales in the housing market. This source can also be seen as social because it shows the improvement of lifestyle in Britain even.

  2. GCSE COURSEWORK: AMERICA IN THE 1920'S

    The 1920's also was called the jazz age in America, it became very popular during the 1920's, blacks from the south of America moved to places like Los Angeles. Jazz music became very popular with black and white audiences and musicians were very much admired.

  1. To what extent was America in the 1920's a 'Divided society'?

    One case that was an impact of this fear of anarchism was the Sacco and Vanzetti case. It was similar to the Palmer Raids. Both Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested on suspicion of the Braintree murders but there was barely enough evidence to prosecute them.

  2. Revision Notes - the USA in the 1920s and 30s.

    Branding becomes more important. Prohibition and Crime * Prohibition-when something is banned, or stopped from happening. The USA government banned the sale of alcohol, although trade and drinking of alcohol continued illegally. * Prohibition causes-Prohibition happened because: Female reformers argued clear links between alcohol, wife beating, and child abuse, Industrialists(like Henry Ford)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work