History Of The FBI

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A Brief History of the FBI The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been around since 1908. It was created by former Attorney General Charles Bonaparte during Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidency. The FBI’s focus has changed due to world tragedies shifting their focus. President Roosevelt approved the creation of the federal investigative force consisting of well-disciplined experts. This group was designed to fight corruption and crime. In 1908 the creation of this type of agency at a national level was highly controversial; Through the 1800s, Americans looked to states, counties, and cities to fulfill most government responsibilities. However, by the 20th century, easier transportation and communications had created favorable opinion for…show more content…
The Bureau primarily investigated violations of laws involving national banking, bankruptcy, naturalization, and land fraud. Due to the fact that the Bureau provided no training, previous law enforcement experience was considerable. The FBI first grew in 1910, when transporting woman over state lines for immoral purposes was a crime. This provided the agency a tool for the federal government to investigate criminals who evaded state laws but had no other federal violations. When America entered World War I, the Bureau’s work was increased again. They took sole responsibility for the Espionage, Selective Service and Sabotage Acts, and assisted the Department of Labor by investigating enemy aliens. The FBI of the 1920s focused on stopping gangsters and enforcing Prohibition. The 1920s to the 1930s were often referred to as the “lawless years” because of the gangsters running amuck across America, and the disregard for Prohibition, which made it illegal to sell or import alcohol. The Bureau had limited success using its narrow jurisdiction to investigate some of the “gangster era” criminals. For example, it investigated Al Capone as a “fugitive federal witness.” During this time The Ku Klux Klan came back to life to counteract the economic gains made by African Americans during World War…show more content…
However, Adolph Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy, and Stalin’s Soviet Union threatened American democracy. World War II brought on new challenges for the FBI. As Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, conquered Europe, the American Depression continued. The Depression provided the opportune time for radicalism in the United States as it did in Europe. European Fascists had their counterparts and supporters in the United States in the German-American Bund, Silver Shirts, and similar groups. At the same time the American Communist Party was gaining momentum. The FBI was alert to these Fascist and Communist groups as threats to American security. Authority to investigate these radical groups came in 1936 when FDR issued a Presidential Directive furthering the FBI’s authority to investigate those groups. Congress also passed in 1940 a law, outlawing advocacy of violent overthrow of the government. Then in 1939 war broke out across the
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