Il periodo tra le due guerre mondiali segna per l’Italia la fine dell’emigrazione di massa. Ma nell’arco di un trentennio i flussi migratori non si trasformarono solo nel senso di una riduzione del numero di partenti. A cambiare furono anche le traiettorie. Le nuove restrizioni stabilite dai paesi d’immigrazione e l’avvento del regime fascista ridisegnarono i percorsi degli emigranti italiani, limitandone fortemente il diritto alla mobilità. Dopo aver raccolto in un primo tempo l’eredità dei governi liberali, dalla fine degli anni venti Mussolini inaugurò una nuova politica migratoria, in linea con la politica demografica del regime e rinsaldando il nesso fra emigrazione e politica estera. L’emigrazione, già definita da Mussolini una «necessità fisiologica» per gli italiani, divenne, ha scritto João Fàbio Bertonha, «un male cui preferire la colonizzazione interna e quella dell’Impero».
L’emigrazione degli italiani durante il fascismo è stata ampiamente indagata dalla storiografia, invece il contributo che vi ebbero i meridionali presenta a tutt’oggi zone d’ombra. Eppure, come si vedrà in questo fascicolo di «Meridiana», il Sud fu tra i maggiori protagonisti dei nuovi orientamenti. Quanto, la crisi tra le due guerre e le restrizioni all’immigrazione, limitarono le possibilità di espatrio delle popolazioni del Mezzogiorno d’Italia? Nei radicali cambiamenti intervenuti nella struttura dei flussi migratori, quale fu l’effettivo peso delle nuove politiche migratorie del regime? Una specifica ricaduta sui meridionali ebbe comunque il nodo complesso della nazionalizzazione fascista degli emigrati: quanto la loro identità di italiani venne costruita dal fascismo e quanto invece vi sopravvissero tratti regionali e locali proiettati nelle «piccole patrie» sorte all’estero, a seguito dei nuovi insediamenti migratori?
I contributi di questo numero intendono dare una risposta a questi interrogativi. Sono infatti analizzati i temi della continuità delle catene migratorie tra Sicilia e Stati Uniti tra le due guerre nel contesto delle nuove politiche migratorie americane e italiane; la relativa «meridionalizzazione» dei flussi verso la Francia e l’impatto del fascismo sugli insediamenti migratori; le traiettorie delle migrazioni interne dei meridionali, evidenziando il rapporto fra chiusura delle frontiere americane e nuova mobilità interna. La questione delle comunità italiane all’estero è poi affrontata focalizzando l’attenzione anche sulle relazioni fra politica estera fascista e riorganizzazione dei flussi migratori, osservando la situazione dei meridionali in Tunisia, ma anche gli spostamenti di manodopera meridionale nel Terzo Reich, iniziati alla fine degli anni trenta in parallelo con il consolidarsi dell’alleanza tra Mussolini e Hitler.
Giovanna D’Amico e Manoela Patti
The period between the two World Wars marks the end of mass emigration for Italy. In the course of thirty years, the migratory flows were transformed: the number of starters was reduced and the trajectories changed. The new restrictions established by immigration countries – (e.g. the Quota Acts in the Twenties) – and the advent of the fascist regime redesigned the paths of Italian emigrants. At first, Mussolini gathered the legacy of liberal governments; then, since the end of the Twenties, he inaugurated a new migration policy, in line with the demographic policy of the regime and strengthening the link between emigration and foreign policy. As the historian Bertonha wrote, emigration became, «an evil to be preferred to the internal colonization and to that of the Empire». How, therefore, did the international conjuncture and the immigration restrictions that ensued, together with the new migration policies of the regime, limit the possibility of expatriation of people from Southern Italy? The closure of outlets, in fact, imposed new migration routes, which were mainly oriented towards Europe, as in the case of France and Germany, or colonies in Africa. It seems, however, that the new regime’s migratory policies – strongly connected from the 1930s to an aggressive, bellicose and imperialist foreign policy – have not always been able to provide an adequate response to millions of southerners who had traditionally travelled the migratory routes.
Keywords: Migratory routes; Fascism; Southern Italy; Migration block.
During the 1920s, after the promulgation by US government of the Quota Acts (1921 and 1924), and after the new fascist policies about emigration in Italy (1926), we register a dramatic decrease of the transatlantic migration flows from Italy to the US. Focusing on the case of Sicily, one of the region, which had sent more emigrants from Italy to the US during the Great Migration, this essay analyses the issue of migratory waves from Southern Italy to the US during the Fascism. Although it could be complicated to investigate the routes of an «unruled» migration, many different sources show some hypothetical lines of research. In fact, despite of the reshaping of migration policies, some traditional networks between Sicily and America are still working. For example, some new researches about transnational Mafia reveal the existence of dynamic Sicilian-American networks in the interwar years. Likewise, many Italian-American memories and biographies indicate that for Sicilians the bridge connecting Italy and America was uninterrupted even during the fascism.
Keywords: Transatlantic migrations; Fascism; US; Migration Policies.
The article examines the presence of Southern Italians in France between the two World Wars and the construction of their professional and geographical networks. The Neapolitans in Marseilles, the Sicilians in Isère and in the South-East and the Sardinians in Lorraine, Corsica and Marseilles represented some of the regional groups – within which it was easily recognizable the village or town of departure – which were welcomed in the transalpine country. In some French cities, such as Grenoble, the currents from Puglia and Sicily represented during 1920s and 1930s one of the main flows of arrival of immigrants, even if the majority of Italians in France continued to come from Northern regions. The Southern Italians also participated in the creation of groups and associations that, at times, were used by the fascist and anti-fascist forces to gather Italians on a regional basis. The article aims to stress as, even before WWII, Southern Italians made an important contribution to migrations to France. Their presence in this country between the two World Wars anticipated the post-war migratory flows, which often found their origin in the networks constituted in this period.
Keywords: Southern Italian immigration in France; Twenties; Thirties; Immigrant associations.
The article analyses the mobility from the island of Sardinia to the Italian colonies during the late Thirties, in order to relate the history of emigration from Sardinia in the XXth Century to the social and economic situation of the island during Fascism, and the role of migration and colonisation within the Fascist project of re-shaping the nation. At the same time, the article connects in a single frame of interpretation both external and internal migration, including colonial mobility. It compares the already existing studies on the part played by Sardinia in the Regime’s population policy with archival sources about the requests for Sardinian people wanting to reach Africa. Despite the difficult economic situation of the island, and unlike what happened in other regions, most of the applications by unemployed people or workers looking for better salaries and better lives were rejected by the Commission for Migration and Internal Colonisation. In order to realize their «colonial dream», Sardinian people could reach the colonies as soldiers more easily. The failure of colonial migration attempts bolsters the idea that Sardinia played a peculiar role in the population project of the Regime, a plan that in the long term not only aimed to relocate Italian people to the island, but also to settle Sardinian people there.
Keywords Sardinia; Colonial Mobility; Fascism; Population policy.
Placing itself within the complex relationship between emigration and colonization, that has always influenced the historiography of emigration in Africa, this contribution will try, firstly, to outline some fundamental lines of emigration from Southern Italy to the Mediterranean Africa between the two World Wars, focusing especially on the case of Tunisia, the closest, most frequented and since more remote times reached country. It will try, therefore, to highlight the main reasons that lead to the choice of this country compared to other African countries, the modalities of migration, the extent of migration especially from the South of Italy, the areas and types of settlement, the relations with the colonial authorities and with the Italian authorities. It will rapidly deal also with the strategies of «integration» and/or isolation put in place with respect to other immigrant communities and local populations. Starting from the different forms of settlement and coexistence recorded, attention will be given to the differences and similarities between several cases such as the Little Sicilies of Tunis and of the Goletta, the Capace grande and Capace Piccolo of Susah, the «oases of Italianness» of Libya, the Petite Naples and Chiffalo (Cefalù) in Algeria, the Little Venice, or Hart, of Cairo, the Maarif of Casablanca.
Keywords: Emigration; Colonisation; Fascism; Mediterranean Africa.
Since 1940, thousands of southerners began to be employed in the war production of the III Reich, above all as industrial workers. Just up today, their history has not aroused the attention of historiography, if not for quick and fleeting hints, while the question deserves a specific treatment. For example, it should be clarified how much of the poor emigration of peasants (to move were largely industrial workers) was due to the ruralist policies of the regime and how much to the specific German demands, which were badly suited to the productive habits of the South and the structure of their agriculture. The south was dotted with small peasant owners and not of landless laborers, so in themselves less willing to leave the territory of origin to venture into other shores. The impression is that to want to leave were the non-tenants or those who received very low wages, as clearly emerges for Ragusa, Catanzaro and Cosenza. Agricultural unemployment was absorbed by the calls to arms, not by the departures for the Reich, which seem not to have been a lot. On the contrary, emigration to Germany was decisive in alleviating unemployment in the industrial sector, especially in construction. However, it was only a cup. With the end of the war and the return of the veterans, the problem would reoccur with the same virulence as ever.
Keywords: Emigration, War, War Production, Southern Question.
Since the mid-twenties, the evidence of a phase of international closure to transoceanic immigration brought Fascism to launch a new phase in the relationship between State policy and Italian mobilities. The first steps of the Fascist migration policy turned to the unemployment problems in Northern Italy. Internal colonization plans were studied to send rural workers from Northern to Southern provinces. A closer look shows it was a paradoxical policy from a demographic perspective; if we analyse the population dynamics of Italy at the time, Southern regions were the most affected by the migration crisis. Internal migration from underdeveloped areas toward major urban centres (Rome and the North) truly took off timidly in the 1930s and in a much more sustained manner since the 1950s, years after emigratory flows were halted by the international economic situation and laws passed in the United States. The article discusses the manifold mobility patterns of Mezzogiorno in the interwar period. Before meeting a new pull factor in other Italian regions, Southern societies adopted diversified strategies, including clear demands on the political sphere.
Keywords: Internal migration; Southern Italy; Fascism; Migration policy.
The Filcams is the union of the trade and tourist sectors affiliated to the Cgil. As early as the 1960s, it tried to structure a new arena of conflict against large retail companies over work organization. This conflict was intended to be part of a more general struggle against monopoly capital. However, it was only during the 1970s that it was able to establish a significant foothold within those companies. The union claims were denying the companies’ economic rationale, envisaging alternative arrangements. Wage policy, proposals on work organization and other political and organizational choices were often borrowed from the metalworkers’ federations, who were the vanguard of the labour movement. In the second half of the 1970s, Italian unions began to acknowledge the economic rationale adopted by companies. This process found a major development in the mid-Eighties, when agreements were signed with large retail companies that established performance-related pay schemes. During the Eighties and early Nineties union/employers relations developed significantly. The reasons for this strategy change in the Filcams policy are examined here, the most important of which is believed to be found in the general process of the decline of class identity due to the advent of an individualistic consumption culture.
Keywords: Unionism; Service sector; Sociology of conflict; Collective bargaining.
L’Italia del «riflusso» e del punk (1977-84)
The essay aims to analyse two particular aspects of the 1980s in Italy: the category of riflusso, which usually defines the whole decade, and punk culture widespread among Italian youths from the end of the 1970s. The term riflusso was generated in a non-scientific context, signifying a decreasing moment of a cycle of protests. But it was soon after the Aldo Moro case that a public debate about a condition of riflusso reached a peak (1978-80); it crossed over the political language and began to define what seemed to be a permanent cultural crisis of the country and the end of political commitment, or of the impegno. An interpretation that was inherited by historiography. The essay aims to outline the multiple faces the term acquired and to redefine its actual periodization. The second part is dedicated to punk culture in Italy from the end of the 1970s. Punk is a strategic point of view to understand the transformation of youth cultural consumption and the renovation of political activism. Generally speaking, historical studies about Italy in the 1980s are still quantitatively insufficient. Therefore, it aspires to contribute to the historiographic debate through a study of the complex Italian cultural transition from the 1970s into the 1980s.
Keywords: History of the 1970s and 1980s; Italian politics; Youth cultures.
Come votano le periferie? La «terza città» alle elezioni comunali di Torino 2016
Cristopher Cepernich, Davide Pellegrino, Antonio Cittadino
The 2016 Municipal elections in the largest urban centres have confirmed a radical transformation of the electoral geography in Italy. This electoral change shows two essential features. First, the «breakthrough candidate» victory, who usually is anti-system narratives carrier, qualified as the outsider in the political scenario. Second, the defeat incumbent candidate, stigmatized as a dysfunctional option pro-establishment by anti-system parties. This essay aims to explain and map how the vote was structured geographically in major Italian cities. The case study is given by the Turin 2016 Municipal elections that is paradigmatic of the deep current changes in the actual political framework. The analysis of the electoral geography is carried out on the mesoscale of the city neighbourhood. All the 919 precincts composing the «electoral city» have been considered, in order to explain and visualize voting behaviour as territorially based. The anti-establishment vote discloses a complex electoral geography, which cannot be explained with a basic central/periphery dichotomy. On the basis of a «vote for change» location quotient, we identify three electoral areas: on one side, the centre where the centre-left incumbent candidate clearly wins, in continuity with the political history of the city. On the other side, the periphery where the anti-establishment candidate clearly wins. In between, the semi-periphery, that is a third zone in which the gap among competitors is contained, showing a high differentiated political scenario. This confirms how the periphery is plural and differentiated in electoral and political terms.
Keywords: 2016 Municipal elections; Centre-periphery cleavage; Anti-system party; Turin.