Public Enemies

Common Core Assignment

Your Task: Using two of the following ‘Public Enemies’ and their respective sources to write a 800-1000-word essay (this equates to 3-4 pages for the essay) that fully answers the following prompt:
During the Great Depression (1929-1939) there were a series of famous gangsters such as John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelly, John Ashley and Al Capone, committing crimes throughout the United States. This period became known in law enforcement as the Public Enemies Era based on the FBI keeping “Public Enemies” lists of wanted criminals. Below are a list of the criminals and their crimes. Despite their extensive list of criminal behavior and violence, many were and remain beloved by Americans. In your essay you should discuss why they were so beloved. You must provide the context for this period (Great Depression) in the the introduction and if that had an impact on their public persona. Also include a discussion of the changes made in the criminal justice system because of their exploits.

Name Crimes Years Active Date of Death Law enforcement Agency involved in capture Nickname
John Dillinger Bank Robbery, attempted murder, assault, grand theft auto 1924-1934 1934
TBonnie Parker
Clyde Barrow Murder (9 police officers & 4 civilians)
Armed robbery, grand theft auto 1930-1934 5/23/1934 Dallas Sheriff’s Department
FBI Bonnie & Clyde
Alphonse Gabriel Capone Money laundering, tax evasion, murder, bootlegger, racketeer, boss of Chicago Outfit 1919-1931 1/25/1947 FBI Scarface
John Ashley Bank & Train robber 1915-1924 1924 Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department King of the Everglades
George Kelly Barnes Bootlegger, kidnapping 1920-1933 7/18/1954 FBI Machine Gun Kelly
Charles Arthur Floyd Bank Robbery, murder 1922-1934 10/22/1934 Bureau of Investigation Pretty Boy Floyd
Lester Joseph Gillis Theft, bank robbery, murder, kidnapping, assault with intent to kill 1921-1934 11/27/1934 FBI Baby Face Nelson

Goals of this essay: The purpose of this assignment is to advance your ability to reason through a specific historical question and to communicate through written text your ideas. Thus: Your paper should critically consider the issue/problem and deliver all relevant information. You should also provide a clear thesis statement. In a paper this size, your introduction and thesis should appear in your first paragraph. Make sure to paraphrase your sources accurately. In other words, state what the source says, not what you wished it said or thought it said. You need to state the evidence fairly, even if you think it wrong or offensive. Your paper should use evidence to answer the historical question, this means you must have proper footnotes and a bibliography page. Your paper should develop and organize your thoughts clearly and logically. Outlining is necessary, but not required, step in writing a well-organized paper. Your paper should draw a conclusion that addresses the paper’s chief topic or question and that states your answer to the question or your contribution to the topic.
Formatting: Your paper needs to be typed, double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font. You will need to cite your sources using the Chicago Manual of Style. I have uploaded all of the resources you need for this assignment on Blackboard. You must have footnotes with properly formatted citations and your paper must have a bibliography page, with the sources you used in your paper (the sources must be the ones the librarian help you identify.)
Annotated Bibliography and Introduction – students must find six sources (three primary and three secondary sources) for this assignment (your sources must not come from google): one source for each criminal (remember if you select Bonnie and Clyde they are a team and you will need to select one other person, one source on the Great Depression, one source on public perception of Public Enemies, and one source that addresses the changes in the criminal justice system because of the criminals. Use the annotated guide I have provided – do not try to create a new document just type over what is on the template because it is already properly formatted.
Primary & Secondary Sources:
You will have to navigate from this page to the different FBI files. This will also have information about the changes the Bureau after these cases.

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