Archive for the ‘European emigrations in the 19th century / Immigrations in the 20th century’ Category


Space mobility is a constant in world and people history. Migration phenomena have become an important feature and took on a global character while they have extended their destinations over and over. In Italy we have experienced a sort of turnaround, comparing to a distant past and, after decades of intense emigration, this country has turned into a centre of attraction and call-up.

Although it is difficult to get exact information about it and to lock up such a complex phenomenon as migration into a straight plan, nowadays it is necessary to know its trends and enclose them in a global analysis circuit. It is therefore possible to determine and picture its main features (paying attention to the words, of course) with charts an maps e carte that help us to highlight those main features.

In the module, the general part is followed by a close examination of Italian situation. This is meant to highlight how Italy plays a central role in Mediterranean waves of populations plot and its characteristic of “painted nation”. Italy is the main world centre of attraction of migrations from different places, nowadays. (Content 3 e 4). Umberto Eco (Content 5)is provocatively discussing right about this multiethnic feature, when he calls up students to take a stand and gets them used to claim his thesis. At last, after Italian President’s discourse (Content 6) and at the occasion of the International Migrant’s Day, we would like to put forward a subject connected to International Law, also discussing over a paradox Convention concerning the protection of migrant worker and their families rights and the fact that it hasn’t been ratified yet nor by USA nor by EU.


The theme is particularly vivid and heard by all people in Europe, because migration which is currently investing our continent, have radically changed the demographic composition and ethnicity of almost all countries, with important issues of integration, interaction, dialogue between cultures. The phenomenon is not new: in all periods of history, human communities have moved from their territories in search of more favorable conditions of life, but between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries these movements have taken on particularly intense quantitative dimensions and very very complex and sometimes contradictory qualitative forms. Certain areas of Europe, in fact, after having been countries of emigration during the first half of the nineteenth century, will soon become a destination for waves of immigration from other states where the process of industrialization had not yet started and therefore less job opportunities offered . It is the case, for example, in Germany of the rural populations, particularly those over the Elbe, which particularly affected the agricultural cycles of famine of the ’30s / ’40s, leave in great numbers their villages and make the long journey to the American mirage. The same change from birthplace to the host country was also recorded in France, where the industrialization process is slower to take off than Britain or Belgium, where an economy still persists so strongly linked to primary resources. From the second half of the nineteenth century, these countries will draw, however, a large amount of labor more or less specialized, first by the countries of southern Europe and later also from other continents.


In the 19th century, industrialisation was established in many European regions. Factories were built, new railway lines were constructed and a number of new posts were created. To a small degree in the western districts of Tyrol, a large part of the Tyrolean population lived from the proceeds of agriculture. In the agriculturally less productive areas of the Upper Inn Valley and the Upper Vintschgau (area on the upper reaches of the River Etsch), the inhabitants were in a terrible predicament. Many families were no longer able to feed their children. As a result, every spring thousands of boys and girls went on foot into Swabia, an agriculturally rich area around Lake Constance, where they sought work as farming assistants for the summer. They offered their labour on the child labour markets in Friedrichshafen and Ravensburg. Now an old man, a witness at the time, Adolf Thurnes, remembers his time as a Swabian child thus: “At the child labour market in Friedrichshafen, the children stood positioned between ropes; the farmer picked up whichever child he liked the look of, lifted him over the ropes and took him home with him”.

In late autumn, the children returned home with the little money they had earned in their pockets. The migrations of the Swabian children ended around 1920 when the Austrian school authorities insisted on the observance of compulsory education.