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The Italian Immigrants Of Post 1880 Essay

840 words - 4 pages

“Between 1880 and 1920 more than 4.1 million Italians were recorded as entering the United States” (Daniels, p. 188). The Italian immigrants of post-1880 were different from other immigrant groups by these topics of religion, labor, family orientation, politics, and education. The 1880s brought a change not only in the amount of Italian immigrants but also the characteristic of them as a group. This group of immigrants was incredibly male dominated, in comparison to the other immigrants of this time, most settling in New York and Chicago. The living conditions that these Italians encountered were not pleasant. It was common for them to live in very crowded four bedroom apartments. ...view middle of the document...

According to the Italian American Legacy documentary, “padroni were savvy in the ways to sign on for rotten jobs. A lot of the ways they were crooks and a lot of the ways they were useful” (Slideshow 7: Italian Immigrants in Chicago). The padrone system faded out as family networks grew. The relationships of their family were essentially the only connection they had. They did not rely on politics or get involved in public office. They tended to only associate with family or fellow Italians in the area. For this reason, mafias emerged in America because of the strong devotion to family and eventually family business. The Italians were mostly Catholic with the belief that “priests were agents of the pope and bishops” (Daniels, p. 197). As more Italians arrived, they began to form distinct enclaves in neighborhoods first settled by earlier immigrants. Interestingly the issue of diet among immigrant workers received attention during this time. Italian Laborers, Padrones, and Pernicious Pasta reads, “In the process, Italian foods were redefined as a "problem" for the fitness, health, and future prosperity of the Italian worker and therefore a threat to workplace efficiency and productivity” (Slideshow 7: Additional Links). The padrone system became concerned with the foods their workers ate because it could affect the way they worked and essentially the way the padroni was paid. In 1890, Jacob Riis, a Danish immigrant and police reporter published How the Other Half Lives where he wrote about a mixed...

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