How and why the mafia was formed, why it spread to America and the changes it under went.

Essay by danyelHigh School, 11th grade November 2003

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Through out history crime has existed not only through individuals but groups, some organized others not. Crime knows no boundaries: it exists in all cultures, is committed by every race, and has existed in all time periods. The Mafia was started for the purpose to create a family orientated organization of Sicilians to gain freedom, and has grown to become one of the most successful organized crime syndicates, that over time has fascinated many people. The mafia through all its publicised terror and famous court hearings have left an impression on our society that will not be forgotten. For many incentives such as money and power, the mafia grew popular and eventually spread through out the world.

The mafia was first formed in the 9th century when Arabs occupied Sicily; native Sicilians were oppressed and forced to take refuge in surrounding hills. The mafia originated as the Sicilians formed a secret society to protect and help those less fortunate than them and to regain their country.

Even once the Arabs had left the mafia continued to fight for Sicily long after. First when Sicily was under attack by the Normans and again in the fifteenth century when invaded by the Spaniards. Due to this the mafia has become a patriotic symbol for Sicilians. The word mafia is said to be an Arabic word for refuge, whilst others believe it is a Sicilian adjective implying courage, strength, agility, quickness, endurance, and intelligence.

The original Sicilian mafia differs from the Italian American mafia, in many ways as it had values, beliefs, and honour, which affected how the mafia was run and the business ventures it was involved in. Members of the Sicilian mafia valued the code of "omerata", which was their honour code. By swearing to "omerata" each member vowed absolute...