This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American “Civil War,” more accurately described as the War to Prevent Southern Independence. It is also the 31st anniversary of the movie, The Godfather, Part II. A single scene in the movie illustrates the true cause of the “Civil War.”
The scene in question involves a Hells Kitchen New York Mafia boss in the early twentieth century named Don Fanucci, whose character is based on a real-life Mafia boss named Ignazio Lupo (“Lupo the Wolf”). In the scene Don Fanucci meets with a young Vito Corleone (who would later become “The Godfather”) after discovering that young Vito and some friends had been quite successful operating as thieves in the neighborhood. The purpose of the meeting was to extort money from the young Mafia wannabes since that, after all, was a big part of the “business” the Mafia was in at the time. Don Fanucci (and Ignazio Lupo) would go to all business people in Hell’s Kitchen and essentially say, “If you want to do business in ‘my’ neighborhood, you’ll have to give me a percentage – or else.” (Ignazio Lupo meant business; he is “credited” with at least 60 murders).
Here is what Don Fannucci said to Vito Corleone, from the script of The Godfather, Part II:
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