The Origins Of The Mafia Essay Research

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The Origins Of The Mafia Essay, Research Paper There were number of factors that contributed to the development of Mafia from feudalism. From the center of Sicily the mafia came into being from the feudal estates (feudi). At first, the mafia’s purpose was to defend feudal privileges in the rural districts. But the total lack of public authority and the absolute power of the lords which was delegated to henchmen whose only qualification was their talent for delinquency, built up a tyranny based on violence and systematic exploitation. For centuries the land under Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans has bundled the land into estates known as latifundia. These estates were distributed to the occupants or local notables who undertook to pay a contribution in kind and

cultivated the land with the labor of local people forced into slavery, or slaves imported from other districts. In an economic essence the landowners owned all the land. Farmhouses were built around the center of latifundia. Store-houses were also built surrounding the dwellings of the owner’s trusted guards and of the slaves who were forced to live on the estate grounds. The seasonal work of ploughing, sowing, and harvesting was performed by slaves. This system was also unchanged under the domination of Goths, Byzantines, and Arabs. Around 1000 A.D. the Normans drove out the Arabs and divided the region into seigniories, distributing after the feudal pattern of France. This system relatively matched with the latifundium and slave economy. In fact, the feudal regime was marked

by the Sicilian barons’ famous renunciation of feudal rights in 1812. The feudal rights strong roots even survived the uprisings of the 1820 and 1848. The evidence can also be seen in the island’s economic and at the time Garibaldi’s epic enterprise in 1860 (p.9). After the Norman period came the Swabian and Bourbon.They established their power on the coast and reinforced it by distributing the lands in the interior of the island. This land became the title feudi of new nobles and followers creating a new baronial class. The baron lord was in charge of one or more feudi with peasants and real serfs that were housed around his farmstead. Each feudo consisted of less than five thousand acres widely cultivated and watched over by the lord’s armed guards and campieri who

lived in the farmhouse itself.The guards and campieri(overseers) were always selected from men with an unusual criminal record, which made them particularly suitable for the job. They were formed into bodies of private guards, and gradually assumed nearly all the boundless powers of the barons. The guards and campieris originating in the feudo contributed to the creation of the Mafia. At first their purpose was to defend feudal privileges in the rural districts. The absence of public authority and absolute power of the lords which was delegated to henchmen whose only qualification was their talent for delinquency,built a tyranny based on violence and systematic exploitation. There were conflicts between two or more barons who had neighboring estates for political power. From the

beginning the barons authority was carried out by the help of private armed guards. These guards came to form gangs called the compagine d’armi. These armed companies often took care of things in series of murders, cattle-slaughtering, the firing of crops and barns, water polluting, robberies and other crimes to gain power. The uprising of the 1812 bought abolition of the feudal privileges,and resulted in public institutions and local government in the inlands. A new relationship was formed between master and laborer. Many of the feudal lords also decided to move to the cities. The old private guards and armed gangs were replaced by stewards, campieris, and gabellottis. The gabellottos rented the whole feudo and guaranteed an income for the owner who resided in the cities.The