A Short History of Gangs

History of gangs goes back to the time as long as humans existed in towns. If piracy is considered to be related with gangs then it stretches back to the time when ships sailed across the oceans. Gangs are generally considered by authorities as undesirable, though many gangs consider themselves as protectors of their community.

Not much is known about gangs before Romans in ancient history, although many historians suggest that if gangs were a law and order problem in Rome, they there possibly known by older empires and states. Suburban criminal gangs during the Roman times caused disruption to life with riots and mayhem, these gangs were the first to invent protection rackets.

Roman gangs were involved in criminal activities of kidnapping for ransom and they often took the help of smugglers and pirates. Most of the early historians blame senatorial corruption under powerful gangs influence for the fall of Roman Empire.

Gangs operated throughout Europe during the medieval ages, although few of them were active outside their localities. The story of Robin Hood is a good example of how gangs operated in those times. The poor people who helped the gangs were pain for their loyalty which led them to become heroes rather than villains.

On the other hand, the Arab world had no belief in the goodness of gangs comprising of thieves as many met terrible fate at the hands of good people. One such famous story is “Ali Baba and the forty thieves”.

Criminal gangs existed in India from 13th to 19th century known as thuggee, they raided trading caravans and killed people as they looted. The term thug is derived from these gangs and is synonymous with the word gangster in England.

Gangs of criminals operated in Japan and China in the 17th Century, they were respectively known as Yazuka and Triads Gangs. Japanese yakuza and Chinese Triads started as political groups but soon became known for their threats, robbery and often kidnapped and killed.

The Triads later migrated to Taiwan, Hong Kong and USA. On the other hand, Yakuza of Japan did not expand outside Japan other than Korea. The Yakuza gangs mostly spread their tentacles deep in Japanese business and many became heads of big corporations.

Gangs were known in US since the first cities developed. Most children were involved in minor crimes but later often made switch to more serious offenses.
After the westwards expansion across the continent, gangs started showing their power in the US. The Wild West outlaws like Billy the Kid, Reno Gang, Butch Cassidy, Hole in the Wall Gang and others added charm to the old west gangs nothing more than thieves and murderers.

Since the Chicago Outfit or Gambino Family of New York and the 1920s, history of gangs has changed with gangs fighting for control of territory. Al Capone, Don Carlo and Lucky Luciano were the biggest names in Mafia of that time. Gangs like the bloods and crips from Los Angeles had spread their criminal empires throughout the USA including the military.

The history of gangs is still not complete, there are complex changes happening within gangs that could change the entire industry in the next coming years.