Italian Immigration

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Challenges faced by Italians Struggled after Immigration.
By
Jeremy Lampkin

The ethnic group that I most closely identify with is Italian. The Italians started to immigrate to the United States in 1880. They immigrated to many different areas based on what part of Italy they came from. For example the Sicilians settled in New Orleans while the Neapolitans and Calabrians settled in Minnesota. Italians tended to form enclaves where they settled to feel safer and still be able to practice their traditions. Italians during that time were overwhelmingly catholic and in the United States there were not a lot of places for them to practice their religion. There were some catholic churches but those were run by the Irish and were a different form of Catholicism and it just ended up causing more tension between the Irish and the Italians. As a result Pope Leo XIII sent priests, nuns and brothers from the Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo to New York. Once they arrived in New York Sister Francesca Cabrini founded schools, hospitals and orphanages and became the 1st American Saint. Without the immigration of Italians it could be said that Catholicism would not be as big of a religion in the United States as it is today. Italian women had a strong sense of family and pride and because of this they did not turn to prostitution as a way to make a quick buck. They did however accept doing odd jobs around the house like domestic servant or as seamstress’s in their home. In the workplace they rose up the ranks because of strong work ethics and reliability. Italian Immigrants had a very high illiteracy rate(70%) because of this they faced a dual labor market. This meant that they had to work low skill, low paying, and easy entry jobs. Without formal education their chances for advancement were slim. Italians were known for being hard working and were mainly blue collar workers. The reason the illiteracy rate was so low was because Italian kids would...
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