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Italian Immigration

There was a mass migration of Italians to America during the latter half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. From 1880 to 1920 alone, “more than 4 million Italians immigrated to America, the largest wave of immigrants from any particular country during a forty-year period” (Italian 1). The numbers of Italian immigrants emigrating to the US reached a peak between 1900 and 1910, most of the immigrants coming to America trying to escape the poor economic conditions of their native Italian regions. Initially, many of these Italian immigrants settled in Louisiana, but with the establishment of Ellis Island in 1892 the majority of immigrants coming to America from Italy in the 1900s located themselves in New York and other major North American cities. This analysis will chronicle the immigration of Italians in America in the first half of the 20th century. Included will be reasons why they emigrated to America, difficulties in arriving here and the problems they encountered as they tried to establish themselves in their American home. A conclusion will address the impact this wave of Italian emigrants had on American culture and values in general.

There were many push-pull factors responsible for the large wave of immigrants that emigrated to America from Italy at the turn of the 20th century. Where push factors are concerned, most often emigration was sought as an escape from the horrible economic conditions in many regions of Italy and the spread of deadly diseases such as malaria. Many of these immigrants emigrated from the Southern part of Italy where not only were economic conditions the worst, but many of the lands used for farming and agricultural production had become unsuitable for such exploits, “The regions of Southern Italy, from which most migrated, may well have been the most impoverished areas in all of Europe. These people were mostly farmers, living in nonproductive, agricultural regions. ...

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Italian Immigration. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 12:51, February 20, 2017, from