Italian Immigrants in America Essay

1350 Words 6 Pages
Italian Immigrants in America

Ever since the United States was founded, immigrants have been arriving on its soil. The first white inhabitants of the U.S. were immigrants from Europe. They came for many reasons, such as religion and opportunity. As the country grew and became more prosperous, it became more enticing to foreigners looking for opportunity. This continued into the 20th century and finally during the 1920’s, the United States began to restrict immigrants from coming to their country, mostly for cultural and economic reasons. Even the immigrants that were allowed in during the 20’s faced many hardships such as religious persecution, racism, and xenia phobia. One of the major groups of immigrants during that
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The old stock Americans weren't used to the immigrants and for this reason they thought less of them and oppressed them. The Italians and other immigrants were blamed for many of the nations problems. For example, the government led raids on immigrants’ houses because they feared the immigrants were communists. This was evidenced in the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, when two Italian immigrants were convicted for murder and the prosecution had no real substantial evidence. They were convicted mainly because of their beliefs, not their actions. Religious beliefs also brought the immigrants problems. The KKK was openly anti-Catholic and most of the Italians were catholic. The immigrants and Italians also helped to bring on prohibition. The Americans didn't approve of their drinking habits; therefore the prohibition amendment was made for this and other reasons. Job competition was also a major reason for the racist feelings of the Americans. Native white workers saw the immigrants as competitors for the jobs that they felt they should have. A good example of this competition was “birds of passage.” These were Italian workers who came to work in the U.S. but later returned to Italy with the money they earned in the U.S. From 1899-1924 3.8 million Italians came to the United States, but 2.1 million left to return to Italy during the same
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