aghilotti asked this question on 4/4/2000:
I was wandering can you tell me when and where did the Italian Mafia first originated and what date did they first start operating in America?
nizami gave this response on 4/5/2000:
The earliest accounts of the criminal oranization now known as the Mafia are from the 1400s in Sicily. They're said to have started as a guerilla group to protect themselves from the Moors, North Africans, who invaded the island some years earlier.
As Italians first started coming here in large numbers in the 1890s and early 1900s, various Italian criminal organizations sprang up in the US, particularly New York and New Orleans, the Black Hand, the Stoppaglieri, and the Mafia. The Black Hand was initially the most powerful of these in the early 1900s until a young Al Capone consolidated these groups among the Italians in Chicago and New York. Charles "Lucky" Luciano made the Mafia a national criminal organization, truly becoming organized crime.
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