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The Contribution Of Italian People To The US Before The Civil War

The development of the United States of America is a result of interactions with many people from different countries. Culture results from the interactions that took place in the past between people from different backgrounds. The United States of America is a country with almost every person from all parts of the world. Before the Civil War, there was a lot of interaction between the Native Americans and the Italians. Many people write the history of America but fail to show the impact that the Italians had on the state. The Civil War was a war between the Southern states, also known as the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. There are mainly six Italian natives who contributed a lot to the change in American society.

Among the five Italians whose history is known in the United of America, Giovanni Caboto (English name, John Cabot) is the most famous (Jones, 2008). During the period when Columbus discovered America, Cabot was living in England. Five years later, he began his journey to America to achieve what is known as the most significant contribution by Italians to the development of the United States of America. Cabot is recognized as the first person to put the English flag in North America in 1497(Peter, 1979). He was the person who made North America among the English-speaking regions. Verrazano is another prominent Italian who contributed significantly during the colonization of America by the British. He gave the French government the go-ahead to conquer the north of America. Initially, France restricted its exploration to Canada, with Britain in America. It is a result of the fact that Verrazano allowed the French into the region, which brought up the area known as Washington.

Another great Italian is Marco De Nizzais, who is also remembered as the one who discovered the region of Arizona. Apart from the discovery that came from the exploration, he also influenced Coronado to do an investigation in the mid-west that opened up the part. His contribution led many people to recognize the existence of the Midwest, and that is how it came to grow in the 1540s. Enrico Tonti also contributed a lot to the history of America. After the death of Chief La Salle, he took over and ruled over the regions of Chicago and New Orleans for twenty years. Though American historians do not provide a lot of information about him, a comprehensive biography of him needs to be done (Peter, 1979).

Father Chino also made remarkable contributions to the history of the country as the person who introduced cattle farming in the region of California. It is the reason why the area still boasts of being a leader in the cattle industry. The last person on this list is Vigo, an explorer who discovered more than one of the modern states. The states of Ohio and Michigan were part of Canada before he helped remove and add them to the map of the United States of America. It is a contribution that has made him respected in the region (Peter, 1979).

Interpretation Extrapolate

Apart from these people, there are cultural and religious practices that resulted from the interaction between the Italian natives and the American natives. One person known as Dante is in records for leading a group of students to study the Italian religious doctrine, beginning with the “prayer to the Virgin Mary.” During the reign of John Adams, the Italian language became famous as a result of interactions and campaigns by Italian scholars to make it memorable. Many students in the United States of America became interested in the language, and as a result, they ended up studying it (Jones, 2006).

A lot of works in poetry, comedy, and general entertainment genres continue to be studied in the United States of America. The only problem that the Italians encountered within that period was that there was a lot of British influence in the region, which made it hard for Italy to become more famous (Mignolo, 2007). A lot of scholars continue to study the impact that the Italians had on American society during different periods. It was also as a result of the opening up of various regions by the Italians that many people saw it better to fight the slavery that was rampant during that time (Peter, 1979). A lot of economic practices also resulted from the Italian-American interaction before the period of civil war.

History is based on facts, without which we cannot claim that the Italians did not contribute any meaningful aspects to the development of American society. There was an Italian in almost every aspect of life; this means that there is a little bit of Italian contribution to the history of the United States, which has not been written by many historians. American historians seem to have avoided the effect that the Italians had on the development of American society. With continued research, there will be a lot of contributions that will be published, and people will learn that Italy had a significant influence on the lives of the people in America.


Poems contribute to culture, and they are the main items that the Italian scholars used to pass their message to the natives. Up to date, many poets in the United States of America still make use of the styles used in the past to write their poems. It shows that the impact that the early Italians in America had is still felt today.

No one can talk about the history of the United States without mentioning the input from the Italians. They are known to have contributed a lot towards the development of the society. As explorers, they led to the discovery of specific regions that are now known.


Jones, E. (2006). The Matthew of Bristol and the Financiers of John Cabot’s 1497 Voyage to North America. The English Historical Review, CXXI(492), 778–795.

Jones, E. T. (2008). Alwyn Ruddock: “John Cabot and the discovery of America.” Historical Research.

Mignolo, W. D. (2007). The Idea of Latin America. The Modern Language Review (Vol. 102).

Peter S. (1979). The contribution of Italians to the US before the Civil War. 1st edition. Pg 149-163



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