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sweetsweetstephy's avatar

Why did Italian immigration to Argentina increase in the 1880s?

Asked by sweetsweetstephy (338 points ) October 27th, 2011

And no, I’m not trying to do homework. I recently watched an Argentinian film in my cinemas class and noticed similarities in the language to Italian. My professor mentioned that there was a huge Italian influence in Argentina, and I was curious as to why. Upon researching, I saw that there was a huge influx of Italian immigration to Argentina from around 1880–1914, which various sites said was due to “economic hardships.” But that is a bit vague, so I’m interested in learning more specific details. :)

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4 Answers

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jaytkay's avatar

Italian immigration to the US was huge in those years, too. I bet the reasons were similar.

I would look at two things

1) What was pushing them? Why were they not happy to remain in Italy?
2) What was pulling them? What was the opportunity in Argentina?

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thorninmud's avatar

This was a period of severe overcrowding in southern Italian urban centers. The unification of Italy in 1861 had brought an improvement in basic resources available in cities (food, hospitals, hygiene), but the resulting influx into the cities overwhelmed the labor market.

At the same time, Argentina adopted a policy of completely subsidizing immigration from Europe, even paying passage, because there was a severe labor shortage there. They government also wanted to establish a more “European” culture of hard work.

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