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Preliminary communication

An Introduction to the Discussion on Croats in Argentina before 1914

Ljubomir Antić ; Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, Zagreb, Croatia

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page 183-194

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The paper provides an introduction to the broader study of Croatian immigrants in Argentina. After giving some basic information on the history of Argentina and its demographic situation in the last decades of the 19th century, as well as on the immigration policy in this period, the author approaches the themes which he intends to emphasise in his reconstruction and evaluation of the history of the Croatian immigrant group in Argentina till the First World War. These are: the number of immigrants, their social structure, degrees of integration and assimilation, social association, journalism, links with the homeland and the immigrants' contribution to the material and spiritual development of Argentina. The answers to some questions are possibly already present in the documents which the author cites in extenso. The choice of documents indicates the author's attempt to write history not only on the basis of some successful, outstanding individuals, but to analyse the overall structure of the emigrant group. It is as if he accepts the warning given by a contemporary of the period in examination, Miho Mihanović, “on the totally erroneous notion of America and of those who taught on America”. In a letter to the homeland, Mihanović wrote: “You see here only five, six persons who have succeeded, while all those hundreds to whom America brought disfortune, and often death, you do not wish to see.”


immigrants; Croats; social structure; Argentina

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