Italian American Immigrants
More than five million Italian immigrants came to the U.S. from 1880-1924. More Italian Immigrants have come to the U.S. than any other European immigrant. Out of the 12 million immigrants that went through Ellis Island 3 million of them were Italian. Once the Italian immigrants reached Ellis Island they were quickly examined by doctors then went through a final stage of immigration inspection where they were asked various questions. Afterwards they were able to begin their lives in America.
There were many reasons why the Italians came to America. During the nineteenth century there was periodic famines that caused extreme poverty, agricultural fields in Southern Italy were barren and there were high taxes that were favored by the wealthy. Many left because of the over crowdedness. It left many unemployed, making it even harder to own and farm land. During the 1860’s Italians came to America in order to own more land because of the Homestead Act. The Homestead Act allowed people in America to get 160 acres of unused public land for free for five years if they developed it agriculturally.
When Italians came to America they met Padroni’s (experienced Italian Americans) who would find them jobs, homes, and money to last them their first few days in America. Padroni’s were also known as itinerant workers and were very comm. at Ellis Island. Some past through Ellis Island ten times warning and advising other immigrants what to expect and how to answer the inspections questions. The Padroni’s would come to America for seasonal work and while they were there they would guide and give advice to immigrants. Their services were worth a lot to the Italian immigrants so they were paid a lot of Lire for their services. Padroni’s got many jobs in construction and one of the jobs happened to be building the Statue of Liberty and most of the jobs they were given were common labor.
Most of the jobs...