Chicago's reputation for vice and corruption was born as it became the entrepôt of the northwest and grew with the city's rise as a commercial and industrial power. Famed for their innovations in agricultural processing, manufacturing, and retail sales, Chicago entrepreneurs took to less legitimate industries as well. The patterns of criminal activity that developed, and the social conflicts and attempts at study, reform, and control they fostered, all shaped and were shaped by the city's dynamic growth.

Chicago is located in the portage between the two major water systems of ...

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