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Few aspects of criminal activity inspire such fearful stereotypes as the public's overall perception of organized crime. Organized crime and its accompanying violence are nothing new in American history. Even before the nation declared its independence, outlaw groups with names like “The Sons of Liberty” formed in several colonial towns to express their opposition to British rule. A century later, ethnic gangs had become well entrenched in the urban areas of large American cities, such as New York, Boston, and Chicago. Today, organized crime plays a significant role in the nation's crime picture, with an ever-changing character.

Origins of Organized Crime

Organized crime in America, as we know it today, had its origin in the great wave of immigrants from southern Ireland and Italy at the turn ...

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