1920-Ku Klux Klan v Mafia...what happens?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by King Thomas, Nov 28, 2006.

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  1. pacifichistorian Banned

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    It's alive!:eek::eek::p

    Can I put a different spin on it? Presume a Klansman runs for President in '20s, without anybody knowing he's a member. (He's quietly cultivated various state Klan organizations & leaders, but kept his involvement secret.) He uses Prohibition & inter-Mob violence as a plank for his campaign, & (with Klan help getting out the vote, &/or "discouraging" opposition, always deniably) wins. Can he succeed? Could he even use Mafia ties/operations to justify invasions? Like, invade Canada for not stopping bootleg booze coming across the Great Lakes? Or Mexico, or Columbia, for not stopping marijuana or coke? (Too nutty?) And use major criminals, like Luciano, Lansky, Bumpy Johnson (too soon?), whoever, to justify tough immigration laws & tougher segregation?
     
  2. Hermanubis Murderfing threads sense 2004!

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    How about the Midwest? Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and Kansas city and other large midwestern cities were (and still are) hotbeds of mafia activity, all but controlled by the mafia in some cases. Meanwhile other parts of the states these cities were in had large and active branches of the KKK.
     
  3. Durindal Proud Pa

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    Truman wasn't a Klansman...he used the mob to get into politics. :p
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  4. SeanPdineen Professor and Historical nut

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    100 percent americanism

    If William Mcadoo, is nominated over Al Smith, and John W Davis, in the Klanbake convention in 1924, he just might promote a wasp dominated nativist america in support of the klan, aganist the damn furriners.
    There was some talk, of an allience with Indiana governor Robinson, on the payroll of DC Stevenson. Mcadoo, was a progressive, but even more racist then his father in law Woodrow willson. Look out folks
     
  5. Fenwick Uncrowned ruler of Hippies

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    No need for Presidents. The Klan was in rare form in the 1920's. So this religous, power hungry, pandering to every middle class value one has group, see the mob and declares it a target.

    Groups of Klans men in full robe walk along the streets of the midwest going to speak easies, and other places to break them up. Not violently at first, as the sheer sight of the hooded order makes people stay away, all the more so with Klansmen taking down names. This is used later on to blackmail people into voting KKK.

    The mob reacts as the mob does in the 1920's, they rough a few guys up and tell them to stay away. It turn violent when Anthony "PeeWee" Jones is beaten by a mobster in rural Illinois. His brother a local deputy calls all the Klansmen together he can and they go on a mad raid into know places the mob works. This has the shared sense of a race riot as Italians and Irish are taken from their homes and beaten by the Klan. The papers play it as Klan fighting the mob, others are anti-foriegner actions.

    What happens in truth is the mafia decides all the press is not good. So on one rather sunny day six Klansmen are gunned down in their homes. A month later a local Klan leader is found dead in a hotel room with a hooker. A string of events occurs which makes the Klans ability to collect dues, blackmail, and simply hold meetings is ruined. Police in mob pay deal with police under the thumb of the Klan, politicans, judges, and all the others controlled by both groups fight just as hard and just as dirty.
     
  6. Geekhis Khan I'm Not Dead Yet...

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    As a secular Italian-American liquor-drinking non-fundamentalist married to a Boston Irish Unitarian woman I sure know which side I support! ;)

    All said, in the Twenties the advantage goes to the (frighteningly popular with WASP America) KKK and the various gangs (Italian, Jewish, Irish, and even Black & Hispanic, maybe even Chinese Triads!) end up making amends in order to fight a powerful mutual enemy. But as Prohibition (defiantly advanced ITTL since the Klan were pro-temperance at this point) fills the Mob Alliance pockets and the Klan starts losing momentum and collapsing under their own weight and hypocrisy, the tide turns. In the end President Luciano outlaws the KKK the same year he legalizes gambling and repeals prohibition. :p
     
  7. TheDifferenceEngine Well-Known Member

    Could this timeline make the mob a bastion of progressive politics?

    They are redistribuiting wealth after all....
     
  8. A Random Person Jarl of Vinland

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    Have a negro mafia...
     
  9. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

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    The KKK's anti-immigrant stances in the 1920s would likely at first piss the mob off, but as the Five Families and the Italians fought the KKK and found out how strong they are, the Italians will start forming alliances - the Irish and the Jews first, probably the South Americans after that. If that isn't enough - and it may not be - then you get the blacks and Mexicans. The Mafia tended to only trust its own, but if the work with the Irish, Jewish and Russians works, then they might take the plunge and try to unify everybody.

    Merge the immigrant and people of color into the American Mafia, and you have something the KKK couldn't take down. Prohibition would fill the pockets of the Mafia. You'd have battles nationwide, and the police would need a lot more untouchables.

    The story of the 1920s - battles of both words and guns between the Klan, the American Mafia and the authorities, especially the FBI. Lots of great movie scripts there, isn't there? :D
     
  10. demonkangaroo March Lord of the Till-Plains

    Awesome happens. :cool:
     
  11. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

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    Awesomely violent, no question about that, but I don't know how awesome a full-blown war between the 1920s Klan and American organized crime would be. My more intriguing thought is about the setup of the unified American Mafia. Do we get a central committee like in New York that oversees and calls shots for everybody? I don't see many other ways of not having full-blown internal division without that.

    And if so, it wouldn't just be the legendary Italians, either. Can one imagine an American Mafia central committee with the likes of Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky then working with Frank Wallace and Bill Dwyer, and the Russians and Mexicans. How much FBI firepower would be needed to stop that bunch! :eek:
     
  12. Manfr Power to the Free Masons !

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    I wonder what the effects on the Democratic Party would be, since its voting base at those times was made by Irish, Italian, Jewish and Southerner electors ! :D
     
  13. darthbalmung Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a member of a politcal party, I'm a Democrat. Only moreso
     
  14. Solomaxwell6 Banned

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    As a Saratogian (big upstate NY Mafia town... our primary industry is gambling), I'd be rooting for the Mafia.

    I see Mafia guys as more classy. I mean, c'mon.

    [​IMG]

    or

    [​IMG]


    We all know who'd win in a fight.
     
  15. 1940LaSalle Member

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    The former would be difficult but not impossible: the mob hitman would have to be a non-stereotypical mobster (I would think an archetypical Sicilian would have stood out in 1920s Atlanta or Dallas). Assuming that, it would probably not have been all that difficult for such a hitman to take out a Grand Dragon en route (let's say) to work on a given day.

    The latter would have been at least an order of magnitude tougher: the mob, let us not forget, was professional; the Klan, a bunch of amateurs. A redneck trying to take out a capo or a consigliere would have one hell of a tough time getting close enough to try--and would probably pay for even trying with his life.
     
  16. Zack M Member

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    Sorry for the epic bump but had to answer this.

    By Mafia...I'm assuming both the New Yrok and Chiago mafia..

    Ok so the Mafia has unlimited resources at their disposals...in terms of both manpower and money....the Chicago Mafia....made $62 million in 1929 alone...and now you take in the various New York gangs uniting...its a blood bath.

    And when you take in ruthless mobsters like Vito Genovese, Albert Anastasia, Jack Mcgurney,Frankie Yale....all of whom commiting hundreds of murders between them.

    Who can forget...the Mafia's 'military wing' the Murder INC which terrorised its enemies in the 20s and 30s....they are thought to be responsible for comitting over 200 murders!

    The Mafia wins an overwhelming victory.
     
  17. XanXar Dothraki Horselord

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    This is such an interesting scenario, I had thoughts about this while learning about 1920s America. If you can a large contingent of African Americans dealing in bootlegging of alcohol, speakeasys (and not just as Jazz Musicians), you could probably see the Klan going after a powerful group of 'Negros' and immigrants.
     
  18. DanMcCollum Well-Known Member

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    Well, I think you are overlooking some of the strengths of organized crime in this era. I think its fair to say that Organized Crime (it wasn't really 'the Mafia' yet; unless we are simply looking at Sicilian gangs) was a major factor in every major urban center in the country. In addition to Chicago in the Midwest, you also have to factor in Detroit (The jewish Purple Gang were very influential until they were taken out by Italian and Sicilian), athe Pendergast Machine in Kansas City relied heavily on alliances with organized criminal organizations of Irish and Sicilian background as well. Even the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis were considered to be 'free cities' for organized crime at the time; the city governments actually encouraged criminal figures to come there, charged them a 'tax' and made sure they could operate freely as long as they didn't break any laws within the city borders.

    Much of the explosion in Organized Crime during the era can be blamed on the advent of Prohibition and so it makes sense that the entire Upper Midwest became tied into the criminal black market economy of the time. The long US-Canadian border, as well as the rail lines between the two nations and the Great Lakes, made the region of a smugglers dream. This was encouraged by Canadian Businesses such as Seagram which opened up 'boozoriums' (distribution warehouses) along the North Dakota-Canadian border before moving their operations across the river from Detroit. North Dakota actually got overrun by criminal elements from Kansas City, Chicago and the Twin Cities (with the head Prohibition Agency office in the Twin Cities often inviting its agents for meetings when large shipments were going to be crossing the border because ... corruption!).

    So, honestly, Organized Crime was a national issue during this era and not something which was only focused in the North East and Chicago.

    Now, the KKK during this era was actually promoting itself as a clean government movement that supported Prohibition, so its not actually hard to see them striking against the mob for trying to corrupt government (and seeing as how many of the criminal figures would be seen as dirty, catholic immigrants with darker skin it just gets better!) I think what you would need is for the KKK to gain control of more northern state governments, such as Michigan to really make a go of it. I doubt the battle between the organizations would be physical, however, but would involve the KKK pushing for further investigations into corruption and stricter immigration laws (so, in many ways, the exact same thing they were pushing for in OTL)
     
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