Italian Immigration
By: Christina Guyton, Aarenton Veals, Jack Skahan, Grace Robison

This is a photo that shows Italian immigrants going onto a ferry entering America.

The Italian immigrants experienced many things when they came to America. First they had to go through examinations at Ellis Island to see if they have any diseases or can they speak English, but it was just mostly to see what they were good and useful for in America. They had to encounter discrimination from prejudice people and most resulted to belligerent behavior because of it, but other people had to take it because of what they suffered at home in Italy they wanted to be in America. The immigrants left one thing behind and that was poverty. At home there was unemployment, and underemployment, high mortality, little or no medical care, little or no schooling, poor housing, and starvation it was a bad place to live in at that time. The immigrants were also depicted from Americans as stereotypes. Even though they experienced all these horrible things when they got to America they still thought it was better than their home Italy.

This picture shows many Italian women working in a sausage factory.

Italian Immigration hit America like a rocket; strong, fast, and urgently. The majority of the immigrants were from the southern half of Italy, they came for these reasons. Poverty, overpopulation, and natural disaster all spurred Italian emigration. Illiteracy rate in southern Italy was 70 percent and Italian government was dominated by northerners, and southerners were hurt by high taxes and high protective tariffs on northern industrial goods. Southerners also suffered from a scarcity of cultivatable land, soil erosion and deforestation, and a lack of coal and iron ore needed by industry. Also, Natural disasters rocked southern Italy during the early 20th century. Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried a town near Naples; Then Mount Etna erupted.

In tenements men would have carts that sold ice. This picture illustrates an Italian man selling ice.

Many people opened grocery stores in neighborhoods to preserve their ethnicity.

The new Italian immigrants had to face stereotypical Americans, poverty, and being in a new and strange environment. Many came to America at a young age expecting the streets to be paved with gold, and a wonderful new life; but instead they were expected to pave them. They were the workers that were meant to do the dirty work. They were not treated as equals. Many immigrants had to hide that they were a different nationality, but still some kept their heads high and stayed proud of their ethnicity. They found jobs, learned the English language, and even opened up their own businesses, because they wanted to succeed in their new country, in spite of the fact that they were foreign. They preserved the Italian culture by sticking together and sending money back home. They would also open shops and groceries in their own neighborhoods, so that Italians could trade among other Italians. All in all, the Italians, along with thousands of other immigrants were treated inferior, but they stuck together to prosper and make their culture grown in America.

This picture illustrates delivery trucks used by Italian immigrants to deliver food as a job.


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