The essay investigates the developments of Italian emigration regulation from the first “social legislation” enacted in January 1901 to the post-war consolidated text on emigration, the law decree n. 2205/1919. The aim of this work is to verify whether, and to what extent, the liberal principles on which the 1901 discipline was based were maintained in the face of the progressive growth of state intervention to protect emigration. The hypothesis is that the links exist-ing between the activity of protection of emigrants and the possibility of controlling and governing migratory flows, have emerged in an increasingly evident way with the inten-sification of the protective action of the State and, also thanks to the upheavals political and institutional issues caused by the Great War, have progressively distorted the original characteristics of the 1901 legislation.The essay follows the development of the Italian legislation on emigration, analyzing the subsequent amendments and additions undergone by the law up to the enactment in 1919 of the Royal Law Decree no. 2205, also known as T.U. on emigration. The work fo-cuses in particular on the provisions concerning continental (better known as “non-trans-oceanic”) emigration, both in consideration of the lesser attention these regulations have received so far, and in view of the fact that, from the earliest years, a large part of the administrative activity carried out by the State had been addressed to the protection of continental emigration, understood as the protection of Italian workers abroad.The regulation of the emigration phenomenon in Italy was from the beginning moved by purposes of protection and assistance of emigrant citizens which appeared to be closely connected with the possibility of governing and controlling migratory flows. Although the law no. 23/1901 was inspired by liberal principles, it also set up a number of administra-tive bodies in charge of studying and taking care of the phenomenon of mass migration, in this way the law laid the foundation for the creation of a special legal order for Italian emigrants, a system that was conceived to harness migrants’ mobility. At the center of the administrative system established by the law no. 23/1901 was the Regio Commissariato dell’Emigrazione (which can be translated as “Royal Department of Emigration”), an administrative body in charge of dealing with everything’s connected with emigration service, which main goal was to protect Italian emigrants, in Italy, during the migratory journey and, when possible, even abroad.Over the years, the law has undergone a series of changes meant to expand the Regio Commissariato’s powers of protection of migrants, but only in wartime those power were transformed into something which allowed the Regio Commissariato to control migration and harness the Italian workforce’s mobility.In the war years the liberal principles that informed the rules of emigration will be radi-cally overturned and the emigration legal system swift from a system based on the free-dom to emigrate to one based on a strict ban on expatriation. The new legal regime while severely limited migrants’ freedom, enabled the Regio Commissariato to pursue multiple national objectives: as a matter of fact the administrative body, by controlling the outgo-ing migration flows could curb emigration from those regions where labour was scarce, direct workers where the need for domestic industry was strongest, or even direct them abroad, to those countries and companies where were the best earning possibilities, and finally, fastening Italian emigration, it could try to increase the value of Italian workers on the international labour market.Although the new laws ruling emigration and the new powers granted to the Regio Com-missariato were conceived as temporary and strictly linked to the special war require-ments, from the 1917 the political debate focused on the opportunity of maintaining some of the new provisions even during the afterwar period, especially the ones which enabled the government to rule migration flows.The war experience had brought to light the “governmental” aspects that were potential-ly present in the special discipline of emigration since 1901 and the choices made with the law decree no. 2205/1919 clearly show the profound impact of the war on the Italian legal order.
L’articolo esamina la legislazione italiana emanata in tema di emigrazione dal 1901 al 1919, focalizzandosi in particolare sulle disposizioni concernenti l’emigrazione continentale, sia in considerazione della minore attenzione prestata finora a queste norme, sia per evidenziare il forte nesso esistente tra l’attività di tutela degli emigranti e la possibilità di controllare e governare i flussi migratori. Analizzando il susseguirsi degli interventi normativi l’articolo prova a verificare se e in che misura l’incremento dell’attività amministrativa statale rivolta alla tutela degli emigranti abbia progressivamente distorto il carattere liberale della normativa del 1901.
Di Giacomo, G. (2020). Dalla tutela alla disciplina dei migranti: la libertà di emigrazione alla prova della grande guerra. ITALIAN REVIEW OF LEGAL HISTORY, 6, 111-143 [10.13130/2464-8914/14884].
Dalla tutela alla disciplina dei migranti: la libertà di emigrazione alla prova della grande guerra
Di Giacomo, G
AbstractL’articolo esamina la legislazione italiana emanata in tema di emigrazione dal 1901 al 1919, focalizzandosi in particolare sulle disposizioni concernenti l’emigrazione continentale, sia in considerazione della minore attenzione prestata finora a queste norme, sia per evidenziare il forte nesso esistente tra l’attività di tutela degli emigranti e la possibilità di controllare e governare i flussi migratori. Analizzando il susseguirsi degli interventi normativi l’articolo prova a verificare se e in che misura l’incremento dell’attività amministrativa statale rivolta alla tutela degli emigranti abbia progressivamente distorto il carattere liberale della normativa del 1901.
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