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Do some research into the mass phenomenon of emigration from Italy to America at the beginning of the 20th century

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Do some research into the mass phenomenon of emigration from Italy to America at the beginning of the 20th century

During the mass emigration from Italy during the century between 1876 to 1976, the U.S. was the largest single recipient of Italian immigrants in the world. However, their impact was not as great as countries like Argentina and Brazil. That was due to the fact that hundreds of thousands of immigrants from nations all over the world were migrating to the U.S. at the same time and American born natives already made up the majority ethnic group. The Italians did play a major role though, socially with individuals rising to national stature in many different fields.

In 1850, less than 4,000 Italians were reportedly in the U.S. However in 1880, merely four years after the influx of Italian immigrants migrated, the population skyrocketed to 44,000, and by 1900, 484,027. From 1880 to 1900, southern Italian immigrants became the predominant Italian immigrant and stayed that way throughout the mass migration. Despite the increase numbers, the Italians were not the largest foreign-origin group in American cities. Outnumbered by groups migrating for decades before them. Italians only made-up 1.5% of the U.S. population at its peak.

In the U.S. where the abundance of cheap land could no longer be found, the mostly agricultural Italians in Italy, became mostly urban. Starting from the bottom of the occupational ladder working up, they worked jobs such as shoe shinning, ragpicking, sewer cleaning, and whatever hard, dirty, dangerous jobs others didn't want. Even children worked at an early age, as in Italy, even at the expense of their educations. The Italians were known for rarely accepting charity or resorting to prostitution for money, another reflection of patterns in Italy.

As in many other places in the world, Italians in America clustered into groups related to their place of origin. For example, the Neapolitans and Sicilians settled in different parts of New York, and even people from different parts of Sicily settled on different streets. However, what seldom occurred in U.S. were Italians enclaves, or all-Italians neighborhoods. The Italians would disperse themselves in other immigrant groups, such as, the Irish, the Jews, the Germans, and the Poles, while remaining in their clusters. Also, immigrants usually settled in different regions of U.S. based in where they came from in Italy. The Sicilians resided in New Orleans, the Neapolitans and Calabrians in Minnesota, and mostly northern Italians in California. However most of the Italians were concentrated in the mid Atlantic states in 1910 with 472,000 in New York and nearly 200,000 in Pennsylvania at the time.

The living conditions for the Italians tended to be over crowded and filthy all over the U.S.. Italian laborers also tended to skimp on food in a desperate attempt to save money. However, after time and new generations of Italians, the dirtiness of their homes disappeared along with the complaint of weak Italians from lack of nutrition.

The Italians were noted for their diligence and sobriety as workmen. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, Italians often became fishermen, shoemakers, waiters, fruit sellers, and tradesmen. Most were unskilled laborers though, working in mines and construction jobs. Over the years, the Italians rose up the economic scale but acquiring job skills in blue-collar job rather than by becoming educated and entering that profession.

What reasons would make you move to a foreign country, even if you really didn't want to?

Theories of immigration traditionally distinguish between push factors and pull factors. [2] Push factors refer primarily to the motive for emigration from the country of origin. In the case of economic migration (usually labour migration), differentials in wage rates are prominent. Poor individuals from less developed countries can have far higher standards of living in developed countries than in their originating countries. Escape from poverty (personal or for relatives staying behind) is a traditional push factor, the availability of jobs is the related pull factor. Natural disasters can amplify poverty-driven migration flows. This kind of migration may be illegal immigration in the destination country (emigration is also illegal in some countries, such as North Korea).

Emigration and immigration are sometimes mandatory in a contract of employment: religious missionaries, and employees of transnational corporations, international non-governmental organisations and the diplomatic service can expect to work 'overseas'. They are often referred to as 'expatriates', and their conditions of employment are typically equal to or better than those applying in the host country (for similar work).

For some migrants, education is the primary pull factor (note that students on limited visas are often not defined as immigrants, though later applications for immigration are usually made easier for them). Retirement migration from rich countries to lower-cost countries with better climate, is a new type of international migration. An example is immigration of retired British citizens to Spain or Italy. Some, although relatively few, immigrants justify their drive to be in a different country for cultural or health related reasons and very seldom, again in relative quantitative terms ed to the actual number of international migrants world-wide, choose to migrate as a form of self-expression towards the establishment or to satisfy their need to directly perceive other cultural environments because economics is almost always the primary motivator for constant, long-term, or permanent migration, but especially for that type of inter-regional or inter-continental migration; that holds true even for people from developed countries.

Non-economic push factors include persecution (religious and otherwise), frequent abuse, bullying, oppression, ethnic cleansing and even genocide, and risks to civilians during war. Political motives traditionally motivate refugee flows - to escape dictatorship for instance.

Some migration is for personal reasons, based on a relationship (e.g. to be with family or a loved one). In a few cases, an individual may wish to emigrate to a new country in a form of transferred patriotism. Evasion of criminal justice (e.g. avoiding arrest) is a (mostly negative) personal motivation. This type of emigration and immigration is not normally legal, if a crime is internationally recognized, although criminals may disguise their identities or find other loopholes to evade detection.

Barriers to immigration come not only in legal form; natural barriers to immigration can also be very powerful. Immigrants when leaving their country also leave everything familiar: their family, friends, support network, and culture. They also need to liquidate their assets often at a large cost, and incur the expense of moving. When they arrive in a new country this is often with many uncertainties including finding work, where to live, new laws, new cultural norms, language or accent issues, possible racism and other exclusionary behaviour towards them and their family. These barriers act to limit international migration: scenarios where populations move en masse to other continents, creating huge population surges, and their associated strain on infrastructure and services, ignore these inherent limits on migration.


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