Italian Immigrants Essays

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Immigration began late for the Italian population. With the main period of immigration coming in the late 19th century, Italians were already several steps behind the Irish, German, and French immigrants (Nelli 38). This proved to be detrimental to the Italians as the previous immigrants had already stitched themselves to the flag producing a resolute hatred for incoming immigrants, one of which was Salvatore Rossi. Having fled Italy in 1897 due to economic hardship, he pursued the “American Dream” in New York, by obtaining an education and landing an uncommon job within the U.S. Government. Italian immigrants in this period of time suffered extreme racial prejudice and experienced numerous obstacles in their process of immigration and …show more content…
These policies affected Salvatore and the Rossi family dearly. Salvatore, only sixteen years of age, and his father, Franco, did much of the grunt work on the family farm with Maria, Salvatore’s mother, caring for his little brother, Angelo. With the new taxes implemented, the Rossi family farm was required to give up 35% of their meager gains from the farm. This implementation harmed the family much more than anticipated. These taxes and discriminatory policies toward southern Italians entirety made the decision to immigrate to the United States much more appealing. Salvatore and his Father were the first to voyage across the Atlantic, leaving Maria and Angelo home until Salvatore and Franco had amassed enough funds to bring them over as well. This course of action was common for Italian immigrants at the time as they often arrived in America with less than $25 in their pockets. The travel over the Atlantic was anything but inviting. Salvatore and Franco were just two of over 200,000 that had emigrated to the U.S. from Italy in 1897 (Thernstrom 157). Franco, similar to many other Italian immigrants had no knowledge of the English language; Salvatore learned what little he knew from a seasoned missionary that had accompanied him on the ship. The voyage lasted a week due to the advancements in steam-powered vessels
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