We’ll learn about• Italy’s contribution to American culture• Italy’s history from unification in 1861• Geography• Identity issues• Regional linguistic differences• Italian art• Italian literature• Italian cinema …and much more!
Italians are the fourth largest European group in USA
About 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the U.S. from 1820 to 2004
4 million Italians came to the US between 1880 and 192080% came from Southern Italy
Southern Italians went to North AmericaNorthern Italian emigrated to Southern America
Primary causes for emigration (1898-1914)• Lack of modernization in agricultural system• Disease destroyed crops at end of the 1800s• Economy cannot compete with foreign products invading the Italian market• Price of wheat fell drastically
The invention of steamship gave impetus to emigration.• Enlisting laborers• arranging travel documents• booking passengers• lending money for the trip• selling the emigrant’s land and housebecame an important source of income
Factors that might have influenced the choice of the destination:• Previous immigrant flows• Information from the “new countries”• (supposed) Job opportunities
The project of their stay influenced the choice of occupation: • Masons • Stonecutters • Barbers • Shoemakers • Seamstresses
Most immigrants were from rural areas but settled in cities and suburbs forming “little Italies”
The unification of Italy took place in 1861.• Until Fascism promoted the idea of a unified nation within one state, people felt a stronger tie to their “paese” (town) than to the “Stivale” (boot).• Most immigrants came to the US before the advent of Fascism.• Most were illiterate and the “national” heritage meant nothing to them.
In only a couple of decades Italians have excelled in all fields of endeavor …• Italian American directors and producers: Nicola Kim Coppola