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NCJ Number: 222525 Find in a Library
Title: History of Native Americans and the Misdirected Study of Organised Crime
Journal: Global Crime  Volume:9  Issue:1-2  Dated:February-May 2008  Pages:66-83
Author(s): Jane Dickson-Gilmore; Michael Woodiwiss
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 18
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Drawing upon documents that describe the practices of early trading companies in interaction with North American aboriginal people, this article shows that organized criminal activity in America emerged well before the arrival of large numbers of Italian immigrants in the 1890s, which has been traditionally cited as the catalyst for organized crime in America.
Abstract: The first wave of immigrant-related organized crime can be traced to French, Dutch, and British colonizers in northeastern America who encountered the Indian people of the Atlantic coast and the territories that would become New France, New Netherland, and New York. The colonization of the American northeast has been characterized as a form of stealth corporatism, in which outsiders systematically exploited the fish, fur, timber, and territorial resources that composed the natural resources on which Native American's relied for survival. Colonial corporations created in Europe arrived on Atlantic shores to exploit whatever profit might be found in the "new world." Corporations such as the Company of New France, the New Netherland Company, and the Dutch East India Company claimed ownership and a monopoly over any resources they "discovered." The primary goals of settlement were trade and commerce for profit. This supposed "legitimate" economy that had regulatory structures characteristic of European trade carried with it many opportunities for more profitable ventures that were not constrained by business ethics or "compassionate capitalism." Traders, many of whom ventured deep into the frontier, were generally violent men dominated by unfettered greed. They cheated many Indians and entered into convenient partnerships with those Indians who were also willing to do whatever it took to profit from trade in natural resources. This article provides examples of specific organized enterprises in this era that by any modern measure would be considered organized crime. 59 notes
Main Term(s): North America; Organized crime
Index Term(s): Criminology; Economic influences; Organized crime causes
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