“The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs. Men will walk upright now, women will smile and children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent.”
Warren T. Rat
Warren T. Rat is the main villain and crime lord in the movie An American Tail. He is really a cat dressed up as a rat and is the leader of a cat gang in New York called the Mott Street Maulers. He meets Fieval and promises to help him find his lost family. Warren also runs a "Feline Protection Racket", an obvious scam for all of the mice. After gaining Fieval's trust, he cruelly sells him to a sweatshop. He commonly sells kids to sweatshops and collects their wages for himself. After Fieval escapes and runs into Warren T. Rat again, he sees him for what he truly is, a cat. The mice are sick of being bullied, manipulated and stole from Warren T. Rat that they knock Warren T and his gang off the harbor and sends them to Asia
"Heh heh. Trust me. Hey, trust me."
-Warren T. Rat
Warren T. Rat's gang of cats (left) were seen in the film gambling in their underground lair. On the right, you see The Capones, or also called The Chicago Outfit they partook in activities just like the cats, which included gambling. Notice how similarly the two are dressed.
Ties between Warren
T. Rat & real life gangsters
Not only are there the obvious similarities in their accents, Warren has many things in common with gangsters of this time. Warren is shown in the movie wearing a top hat, gaudie clothing, gloves, and is often smoking a cigar. Who else do we know with these characteristics? Al Capone. Al Capone was a infamous mobster in the early 1900's. Although he ravaged Chicago; not New York where Fivel was located, he was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. But still there are too many similarities for this to be sheer coincidence. We find out in the movie An American Tail that Warren is not actually a rat, but he is in fact a cat. Al Capone shares a similar dark secret; he was not actually Sicilian like every other 'Mafioso' was he was from a rural area called Osara. Warren also has gold teeth, which can be seen on gangsters of even today. Al Capone also scammed our government, much like how Warren T. Rat scammed the mice. Capone was convicted of tax evasion and sent to life in prison at Alcatraz. Much like Capone, Warren and his minions were run off at the end of the movie onto a ship going to China. Another symbol, is how Warren T. Rat controlled his reign of terror from underground, literally. Capone was said to be able to control Chicago's whole underground, figuratively.
(LEFT)- Warren T. Rat and imfamous mob boss Al Capone show erie similarities..
"Mafia" is the common term used to describe a secret crime organization created in Sicily, Italy that came to America. The Mafia acted as protectors of urban areas dominated by mostly Italian immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The purpose of the mafia: to make money. The Mafia is built on respect, loyalty, culture, family, and heritage. The main belief in the mafia is justice, honor, and vengeance are for a man to manage, not for the government. Since the 1900's, about thousands of Italian organized crime figures, mostly Sicilian, have come illegally to America. The first known Sicilian to emigrate was Giuseppe Esposito after murdering the chancellor and wealthy landowners of Sicily. He then lead a huge mafia incident in New Orleans where many of the gang members are either lynched, shot or escaped. I have a connection to Giuseppe Esposito because he is my great great great grandfather. It was the passage of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Prohibition) that effectively turned this small-time organized-crime unit into the most powerful in the country.
(RIGHT) Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was credited with creating New York's Mafias in the 1920's. He made a living by bootlegging, drug traffcking, organizing hit men, gambeling, and running a prostitutuion ring.
The development of organized crime in America:
The roots of organized crime in America strand back to immigrant groups that had no trust in local authorities. Although it seems 'racist' or 'stereotypical' to say but Italian immigrants were in fact known the most for clustering together and forming things called "la Cosa Nostra" or "la Mafiosi". La Cosa Nostra means ‘this thing of ours’ in Italian, it was known to be a honor to be in the Mafia. Being in the mafia meant you became a ‘Man of Honor’ or a ‘Man of Respect’. The mafia normally refers to itself through history as ‘The Honored Society’. The mafia was known in their neighborhoods as 'the protectors', if you had a problem, needed protection, needed money, you didn't go to the police; you went to the mafia...
(LEFT)- Many movies have refered to the America mafia other than An American Tail. Both movies, although they have different directors, they both give the same image and presence of the mobsters.
Prohibition's contribution to organized crime:
Prohibition was a leading factor in the growth of organized crime. During the early 1900's, jobs were hard to find, mostly for those new to the country. New immigrants tended to lean toward gangs for employment. Becoming a gangster was a dangerous, but a fairly easy way to make money, and for a time like this, money was not a joking matter. Gangsters, mostly mob bosses, tended to make large sums of money, the notorious Al Capone for example; he made 100 million dollars a year (in 1920's American dollars) in 2009 dollars Al Capone would have a yearly income of $1,023,000,000. The mafia made most of its profits from bootlegging (selling liquor) in speakeasies. They also made money by gambling, drug trafficking, labor racketeering, and even prostitution rings. So the question is, did the mafia show the American dream or the American nightmare?
(Right)- Speakeasies were run mostly by the mafia because it was easier for them to smuggle the alcohol into the country. Buying alcohol from there was also safer than making your own in your bathtub.
Statistics after prohibition was set in:
Police Funding- +11.4$ million
Arrests in general- +102%
Arrests for Drunkeness- +41%
Federal Convictions- +561%
Federal Prision Population- +366%
Federal Spending on Penal Institutions-+1000%
The Mafia and Child Labor
In the 1800s, early 1900s, it was very common for children and teens to be working in harsh and dirty working areas for little to no pay. Since the children had to work, they couldn't go to school and their life-time earnings were reduced. The kids were often abused and neglected and some were not old enough to work a machine. It was common for mob members to sell orphans and kids into factories and receive their pay. Many bosses would get away with paying the kids nothing. The mafia, and mobs alike both played a part in this crime. They would take advantage of children, mostly children of immigrants, and put them in sweatshops or other harsh labor for little or no pay. Children were normally better for these tasks than adults because their hands were smaller, and their bodies could fit into smaller caves and caverns. For example, children were often used in sweatshops where fabrics were made because their fingers were more nimble and could move about the strings more freely. Children were also more useful in mining because they could get down into small areas where adults could not reach. They also could be lowered into caves easier because they were lighter. A picture of this can be seen above; it was taken in Pennsylvania in 1910.
(LEFT)- Young boy working in a dirty and dangerous conditions while his pay is given to a crimelord.
By: Ally Penze