Italian vs Italian American Sociocultural Comparison

I definitely would not say the US was exclusive to southern Italian immigration. It's more so that Southern Italian immigrants simply made up the bulk representation of Italian migrants due to their poorer regional economic outlook comparatively. There were no barriers to northern Italian immigration imposed. Do you think there were different driving factors for Italians of various regions to migrate to Australia, Canada, Brazil, Argentina or France in comparison to the US?
When Italy was united in 1860-61, this was the financial position of the various Italian states:

Two Sicilies (Naples, the South with Sicily) 443.2 million lire

Papal States 90.6 million

Grand Duchy of Tuscany 85.2 million

Piedmont-Sardinia 27.0 million

Venetia 12.7 million

Lombardy (including Milan) 8.1 million

Duchy of Parma and Piacenza 1.2 million

Duchy of Modena 0.4 million

TOTAL 668.4 million


Source: First Census of the newly formed Kingdom of Italy (1861) cited in the Scienza delle Finanze by Francesco Nitti, Italian PM in 1919-1920.
 
When Italy was united in 1860-61, this was the financial position of the various Italian states:

Two Sicilies (Naples, the South with Sicily) 443.2 million lire

Papal States 90.6 million

Grand Duchy of Tuscany 85.2 million

Piedmont-Sardinia 27.0 million

Venetia 12.7 million

Lombardy (including Milan) 8.1 million

Duchy of Parma and Piacenza 1.2 million

Duchy of Modena 0.4 million

TOTAL 668.4 million


Source: First Census of the newly formed Kingdom of Italy (1861) cited in the Scienza delle Finanze by Francesco Nitti, Italian PM in 1919-1920.

I've read some some of Nitti's work on this and he gives good data. It provides an interesting perspective. The thing this fails to highlight however is that wealth in the kingdom of two Sicilies was extremely concentrated amongst the elite classes. The typical southerner had much less opportunity than the typical northerner unless he was born into land owning stock, despite the fact that there was more total wealth. So it's probably true that at unification the south as a whole was the wealthiest, but it also was operating at a near feudal level as far as its economic model.

The other interesting aspect from these figures is how much more wealthy Tuscany and the Papal states were than northern Italy. Industrialization really changed the economic situation drastically. I wonder if this is also why we see a powerful resurgence of N. Italian ancestry in the peninsula from late antiquity onward? Typically poorer areas tend to boast higher fertility rates.
 
I've read some some of Nitti's work on this and he gives good data. It provides an interesting perspective. The thing this fails to highlight however is that wealth in the kingdom of two Sicilies was extremely concentrated amongst the elite classes. The typical southerner had much less opportunity than the typical northerner unless he was born into land owning stock, despite the fact that there was more total wealth. So it's probably true that at unification the south as a whole was the wealthiest, but it also was operating at a near feudal level as far as its economic model.

The other interesting aspect from these figures is how much more wealthy Tuscany and the Papal states were than northern Italy. Industrialization really changed the economic situation drastically. I wonder if this is also why we see a powerful resurgence of N. Italian ancestry in the peninsula from late antiquity onward? Typically poorer areas tend to boast higher fertility rates.
Indeed.
However the most active industrial area (as far as it went) in 1860 was the Naples to Salerno strip and not the Milan-Turin-Genoa Industrial Triangle of today.
Some have argued that Italian unification benefited both Northern financiers and big Southern landowners who did not want to encourage poor Sicilian or Calabrian peasants having their own land.
 
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Indeed.
However the most active industrial area (as far as it went) in 1860 was the Naples to Salerno strip and not the Milan-Turin_Genoa Industrial Triangle of today.
Some have argued that Italian unification benefited both Northern financiers and big Southern landowners who did not want to encourage poor Sicilian or Calabrian peasants having their own land.

I don't doubt it - Naples had many large scale shipbuilding operations at the time and a very dedicated industry for this purpose - but after 1861 this changed drastically. Your typical Italian of the Mezzogiorno was faced with not only a lack of opportunity for social mobility, but also regionally his way of life was declining in economic strength relative to the rest of the country. It was a carrot/stick scenario and I think it's correct to look at mass emigration as failure of (re)unified Italy's early economic model. We are seeing a somewhat similar situation play out today, though at a smaller scale, where many well educated Italians leave the country to find work in the UK, Germany, France etc. due to Italy's low wages and high taxes which are in place mostly due to Italy's large outstanding public debt. Italy today has a very strong economic base and it is not a country lacking in industrial or intellectual resources, so to me this is a great shame. These are also the same reasons that Italy is suffering from a rapidly ageing population with fairly low birth rates. I think as a general rule it's important for government to reduce non-necessary public spending, and to be much more frugal as to prevent situations like this.
 

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