The Mudsill Myth – “La Miseria” Difficulties in discerning differences between those who left and those who stayed behind Emigration is a positively selective process Motives for emigrating – Advancing the family economy – Avoiding conscription or jail Social strata of repatriates – Benestante, Americani, and new Americani
Social Stratification in Franza – 1900 & 1960 Joseph Lopreato, Peasants No More: Social Class and Social Change in an Underdeveloped Society (1967)
The fallacy of using schooling as a measure of an immigrant’s worth Schooling in 19 th and early 20 th century Italy and America – The significance of this for assessing the character and resources of emigrants? – In the U.S. the Common School provided 6 to 8 years of instruction to students – In Italy village schools offered 3 years [at best]
American Responses to Immigration Open Door – Motivations Humanitarian Economic Restriction – Motivations Economic Nativist
Tirocchi Cousins – sand and gravel merchants, concrete block manufactures, construction contractors, tire recapping plant, auto service stations, dairy plant and home delivery service, commercial laundry, etc.
Ellis Island – The symbol 1982 – 1924 – 20+ Million immigrants pass through Ellis Island – Peak year – 1907 – 1,004,756 pass through the station – 560, 971 enter in 1921 – 1921 Quota Law set nationality limits for each nationality to 3% of their number in the 1910 U. S. population and total annual limit of 358,000 – 1924 Quota Law moved the “reference date” to 1890 and reduced annual quota to 164,000
The Ellis Island Myth – “our name was changed by officials at Ellis Island” Time spent and nature of the processing of immigrants at Ellis Island – Ship passenger lists – Eligibility screening – The “six second physical” – Utility of the Myth
Americanization/Assimilation - Theories Racial implications of the “new immigrant” concept Red Scare and the intensity of Americanization efforts
Americanization – Institutions Schools Settlement Houses Industry Public Libraries Religion Ethnic Press
George F. Johnson and the Square Deal New employees at Endicott Johnson were given a copy of a pamphlet called "An EJ Worker's First Lesson in the Square Deal." It read, in part: "To the new EJ worker: You have now joined the happy family in the square deal. If you are faithful, loyal, and reliable, you will earn a good living under fair conditions. You are indeed a part of the company. Remember that you are cared for when sick, medical and hospital services are yours, privileges of many kinds are yours. Your friend, George F. Johnson."
Religion The American “Irish” Church and Immigrants “National Parishes” – Protestant evangelicals – Italians – Trusteeism – Other Roman Catholic groups – “The Polish National Catholic Church -1897” Ownership of Church property Parish government in secular matters by parishioners Parishioner authority in assignment of Priests Appointment of Polish Bishops in the U.S. – participation of clergy and Laity