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Unformatted text preview: Introduction American history has a strong connection with Italy. America was named after an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci, who helped aid Christopher Columbus to explore the new world. America was named after Vespucci because he was the first to discover that the North and South American continents were not a part of Asia. In the late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s immigration from Italy to America became widespread. Most Italians settled in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and many others. Italians have been in Detroit since French Commander Atoine de la Mothe Cadillac was asked by Louis XIV to set up a fort to ban the British from the Upper Great Lakes. Cadillac enlisted an Italian born Alfonso Tonti to be his second in command. When Cadillac went back to France he left Tonti in charge. Tonti had the first Italian-American born child in Detroit in 1703. 1 Immigration for Italians in the early 1900’s was much easier then what it was like for the immigrants after 1924. Up until 1924 an estimated 200,000 Italians came to America every year. After being claimed undesirable by the “native” Americans, people from Southern and Eastern 1 Farmer, Silas. History of Detroit, Wayne County and Michigan , New York: Farmer & Co., 1890 (Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library Europe would now have to obey the immigration quota set by the Immigration Act of 1924. For Italians that quota was set at 4,000 immigrants per year. 2 Immigrants had to obtain legal documents and stamps from both America and Italy, whether they were coming or going. These documents consisted of an inspection card, a health questionnaire, passport, and travel tickets. The inspection card indicated that immigrants had a medical exam tickets....
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- Winter '08