Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History



First Advisor

Daniel H. Thomas


The object of this study is to review the Italian irredentist movement, the rejection of some of the claims of Italian Irredentists at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and the reaction of the Italo-Americans, with special reference to those in Rhode Island.

A brief sketch of national aspirations in Italy from 1870 to 1918 is given as a background for the Italian demands at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Attention is also paid to the settlement of Italians in Rhode Island and their development into a political factor of consequence. The Rhode Island "grass roots" movement in support of Italian claims is reviewed as is the opposition to the Senate ratification of the peace treaties.

Particular emphasis is given to the views of President Wilson as well as to those of the Republican Senator from Massachusetts, Henry Cabot Lodge, who was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Special attention is given to the significant influence of Italo-Americans on the election of 1920 and the defeat of the supporters of the treaties.

Italian language newspapers and personal interviews are among the most important primary sources used, as are the Congressional Record and Senate Documents. There is a movement to record the history of the Italo-American, and secondary sources on this subject are relatively good.



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