• Salvatore DiMaria
Part of the Italian and Italian American Studies book series (IIAS)


DiMaria examines the causes that led millions of Italians to emigrate during the last decades of the nineteenth century and beyond. He dismisses claims that what caused Southern Italians to emigrate en masse was the hardship brought on by the new kingdom’s fiscal policies. He also refutes the long-held view that emigration on such large scale was due to enduring poverty. He contends that what drove people to emigrate had more to do with the new opportunities opening up abroad. The Americas in particular were in great need of manpower to settle their vast territories and expand their economies. Moreover, seafaring became cheaper, faster, and safer, as steam vessels began to replace the slow and dangerous sailing ships, also known as “coffin ships.”

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salvatore DiMaria
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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