The National Integration of Italian Return Migration, 1870-1929

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This book examines return migration to Italy from the United States from 1870 to 1929. Many imigrants did not intend to settle permanently in the United States, but to make money in order to buy land in Italy. The book documents the flow from America back to Italy of individuals and remittances and discusses the strategies used by returnees in investing American savings. The Italian government and Italian society in general took a great deal of interest in return migration. Initially, Italy opposed mass emigration. In time, the government promoted emigration and return migration as the best way of creating savings, which would in turn promote the modernization of the Italian economy, especially in the south. Eventually, return migration and remittances were regarded by many Italians as the best way to solve the thorny southern question.