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Navigating Life and Work in Old Republic São Paulo$
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Molly C. Ball

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401667

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401667.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Making an Immigrant City

Making an Immigrant City

(p.21) 1 Making an Immigrant City
Navigating Life and Work in Old Republic São Paulo

Molly C. Ball

University Press of Florida

This chapter demystifies how São Paulo’s population expanded from around 65,000 inhabitants in 1890 to roughly one million by 1930. It demonstrates São Paulo distinguished itself as a node of family immigration among immigrant receiving nations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Immigrant registrations from the Hospedaria de Imigrantes and calls to immigrate, chamadas, demystify how the state’s immigration program built to support coffee agriculture dramatically impacted the city's growth and allow for distinctions between immigrant groups. There were complex and diverse migration streams to the city. Early Italian migration was followed by unskilled, Portuguese migration between 1903 and 1913, and a skilled German migration in the postwar period. This change signals that World War I marked a turning point in the city from labor-intensive toward capital-intensive growth. The records also suggest the war marked an increase in northeastern migration to São Paulo. In contrast to most regional assumptions, migrants from northeastern Brazil were more literate than many immigrant groups and Brazilians from other regions. Despite their literacy, they were much less likely to be contracted in the city than their European counterparts.

Keywords:   São Paulo, family immigration, World War I, northeastern Brazil

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