Italianness in the United States between migrants’ informal gardening practices and agricultural diplomacy (1880–1912)
Modern Italy, 2021, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 199-215
MAZZOLI, Gilberto, Italianness in the United States between migrants’ informal gardening practices and agricultural diplomacy (1880–1912), Modern Italy, 2021, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 199-215 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/72402
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
During the Age of Mass Migration more than four million Italians reached the United States. The experience of Italians in US cities has been widely explored: however, the study of how migrants adjusted in relation to nature and food production is a relatively recent concern. Due to a mixture of racism and fear of political radicalism, Italians were deemed to be undesirable immigrants in East Coast cities and American authorities had long perceived Italian immigrants as unclean, unhealthy and carriers of diseases. As a flipside to this narrative, Italians were also believed to possess a ‘natural’ talent for agriculture, which encouraged Italian diplomats and politicians to propose the establishment of agricultural colonies in the southern United States. In rural areas Italians could profit from their agricultural skills and finally turn into ‘desirable immigrants’. The aim of this paper is to explore this ‘emigrant colonialism’ through the lens of environmental history, comparing the Italian and US diplomatic and public discourses on the potential and limits of Italians’ agricultural skills.
First published online: 08 April 2021
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/72402
Full-text via DOI: 10.1017/mit.2021.16
ISSN: 1353-2944; 1469-9877
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sponsorship and Funder information:
This article was published Open Access with the support from the EUI Library through the CRUI - CUP Transformative Agreement (2020-2022)
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