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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Mediterranean Comes to Ellis Island: The Southern Question in the New World


Between 1890 and 1915, approximately four million Italians emigrated to the United States. The categories of the "Mediterranean" and the "South" played an important role in the way this immigrant population (the largest in the United States) was imagined, represented, and administered. These categories (among others) informed both scholarly discourse and public discussion of the "new" immigration and of the place of Italians and of other Southern European peoples in American society.

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