The Italians in Italy and the United States

Many Italian immigrants and Italian Americans made contributions in various fields such as science, entertainment and the military. While the number of people immigrating to the United States from Italy has decreased in recent years immigrants that come are inspired by the opportunities offered. The population of Italy is expected to decrease dramatically due to the declining birth rate. This combined with the unstable economy of Italy may contribute to a loss of its identity. Many Italian American organizations fear that future generations will not know about the positive aspects of their heritage due to the negative stereotypes of Italians perpetuated by the media. The Italians in Italy and the United States The Italians in Italy and in the United States brought a rich heritage to both nations. In Italy and in America Italians made contributions in various aspects of society throughout history. However factors such as a slow population growth in Italy, a decrease in immigration from Italy to the United States, an unstable economy and negative stereotypes of this ethnic group threaten that heritage. Italians in Italy and in America are threatened with the loss of their identity and uniqueness. Italians are no longer the predominant immigrant group in the United States. The future of Italy is imperiled by its stagnant growth. The paper will discuss current and past immigration trends of Italians, contributions made by Italians in Italy and the U.S, the current state of Italy as well as negative stereotypes of Italians. In the 1880’s massive economic decline and an overpopulated nation resulted in a dramatic increase in Italian immigration to the United States. … Some early Italian migrants were young men who wanted to work for brief periods and then return to Italy. Others would settle in America in predominantly Italian areas. The men mostly did physical labor which included building the communication infrastructure. The Italian contribution to the refining of America also derives from the immigrant labor used to build reservoirs, streetcar lines, subways, railroads and buildings to pave streets and to install and repair sewage lines. (Scarpaci Mormino p.12) Italian immigrants brought with them an agrarian, family oriented culture that placed emphasis on hard work as a means to succeed and survive. They felt that during troubled times, they can always trust in family. Throughout most of the 20th century there was a gradually increasing influx of immigrants from Italy who would settle in America. During the 1920s most Americans were leading prosperous lives and many Italian American colonies received infusions of capital derived as a result of breaking Prohibition laws. Most Italian Americans were adversely affected by the Great Depression. As a result they became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Democratic coalition. From World War 2 to the 1950s and 1960s more Italian Americans were middle class due to ample employment opportunities. By the mid-1970s Italian American young people were attending college at the national average. According to Census Bureau data, Italian Americans have an average high school graduation rate, and a higher rate of college and post graduate degrees compared to the national average. (Scarpaci Mormino, 2008)From 1998 to 2002 many college students throughout the United States took classes to learn Italian. It is the fourth most commonly taught foreign language in U.S.