Italian Civic Organizations

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There was no countrywide organization helping the Italians. Italian Americans relied on one another when times got hard. Italian American had strong family ties. Whenever an Italian man would travel to America he would quickly find settlement with family members who were already in America. Other then family ties Italian share a strong village tie. The Italian word campanilismo is a good way to define how strong Italians village ties were. Campanilismo is defined as the loyalty to those who live within the sound of the village church bells. iii Anyone for a particular campanilismo could depend on a fellow Italian from that campanilismo. “Italian immigrants established hundreds of mutual aid societies, based on kinship and place of birth.” [1]

There were many “Little Italy” communities in America. These communities were based on the village one was from. A person who lived in Rome would settle in a “Little Italy” with other people from Rome. These “Little Italy” communities would hold on to traditional values and culture and the people didn’t Americanize. That is why if a person walks through a “Little Italy” neighborhood today it would feel like walking into Italy itself. “Little Italy” also provided new immigrants a safe haven during times when anti-immigrant emotion ran high.

Before the Great Depression Italian Americans voted for whoever the local political machine asked them to vote for. Italian Americans were not associated with a political party until during the Great Depression when they voted for the Democratic Party because they wanted to vote for Roosevelt’s party. Just like the Blacks voted for the republican party simple because they wanted to vote for Lincoln’s party the Italians voted blindly for the democratic party being too uneducated to know what the democratic stood for. [2]


  1. Digital History. Italian Immigration. April 11,2009. [1]
  2. Italian American. April 12,2009. [2]