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Istrians in Trieste in the eighteenth century

Aleksej Kalc

Puni tekst: slovenski pdf 621 Kb


str. 333-357

preuzimanja: 556



Ključne riječi

After being granted the status of a free port in 1719; during the eighteenth century Trieste witnessed an expansive economic and population growth. Th is development; fostered by central authorities’ targeted policies; was accompanied by mass immigration from its wider international hinterland. The third most important immigration flow; after those from Carniola and Gorizia; was that originating from Istria. While immigrants from Istria had been traditionally present in Trieste; after the establishment of the free port their number steadily increased. According to the census of 1775 they constituted 7.7% of all the immigrants in the city. They included men as well women; most of them immigrated in an age between 15 and 30 and originating from all areas of the Istrian peninsula but especially from Koper and its surroundings. More prominent flows came also from the areas of Rovinj and Podgrad. The sex ratio of the immigration as a whole was quite balanced yet the several geographical currents differed to an extent in their gender composition. Occupations of male immigrants included a range of professions and economic activities. The most numerous group (20%) consisted of seamen and fishermen; followed by several types of craftsmen such as ship carpenters; caulkers; builders; tailors; shoemakers; wig makers and salt workers. Some Istrian immigrants were employed in professional roles in the big mercantile commerce and many were food retailers; especially butchers. These immigrants also imported livestock from Istria to provide the city market with beef and other types of meat. The rest of the occupational structure included some liberal professions and rentiers; public officers and; among the lowest social strata; porters (facchini). Most porters and other labourers participated in the Trieste labour market seasonally; while part of the fishermen crossed daily the Austro-Venetian state border to work in Trieste. Others who responded to opportunities offered by Trieste included apprentices in artisanal and trade professions and several types of servants. Among female immigrants; the major professional group were domestic servants. For girls and young women domestic service represented the main access to the city and its labour market. Married women were active in certain handicraft s; for example the manufacturing of straw coverings for flasks. Th e analysis of the employment relationships and of the household composition reveals that the immigration process from Istria and the access of Istrians to the Trieste labour market was based on the ties of common regional origins less than that was the case with other immigrant groups. Only 6.2 % of all Istrian employees; indeed; worked or served and lived under the roof of Istrian employers. Among the employees of the latter only 10.6 % were from Istria. The marriage market analysis also proves the absence of a strong regional cohesion: Istrians were the immigrant group with the lowest rates of endogamy. Both brides and grooms preferred to marry partners from other geographic origins; especially from Trieste itself. This preference can be understood in terms of a high tendency towards the integration into Trieste’s culturally mixed social fabric

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