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Peasant immigration in Australia 1920-1940

Gianfranco Cresciani


Appeals against internment on the part of Italians in Australia in the Second World War are an important source of information on the applicants and on the attitudes of Australian officials and provide a challenge to historians. Most immigrants had very limited education and English language skills. From their testimony emerges an earthy peasant wisdom. A peasant's labor, land and property made him "respectable" to officials. The wealth of peasant culture, tradition, sentiments and wisdom eluded legal officials. The peasant internees' testimony asserted unequivocally the incompatibility of their values with those of an exploitative society.

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Spunti e Ricerche. Rivista d'italianistica.
ISSN (Print): 0816-5432.
ISSN (Electronic): 2200-8942.