The Little Slaves of the Harp: Italian Child Street Musicians in Nineteenth-Century Paris, London, and New York (McGill-Queen's Studies in Ethnic Hi)

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9780773508903: The Little Slaves of the Harp: Italian Child Street Musicians in Nineteenth-Century Paris, London, and New York (McGill-Queen's Studies in Ethnic Hi)
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The padrone were often known to the families of the children or were from the same villages. While some were cruel exploiters who compelled obedience through terror and abuse - a view promoted by a few, well-publicized cases - the lot of most of these children was similar to that of child apprentices and helpers in other trades. Public reactions to the child performers were different in each city and reflected the host society's view of the influx of foreign immigrants in general. Although England, France, and the United States developed legislation in the mid-nineteenth century to deal with children in factories, they did not attempt to regulate children in street trades until later in the century because they saw the work as a form of begging. The battle to get Italian child musicians off the street dragged on for years before legislation and new work opportunities - often as onerous as or worse than street performing - directed the children into new trades.

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Uprooted from Italian villages, thousands of children indentured to adult masters or padroni in the 19th century earned coins as organ-grinders, harpists, fiddlers, pipers or animal exhibitors on the streets of Paris, London and New York City. Although some were beaten, tortured or neglected, most of these young minstrels, claims McGill historian Zucchi, fared no worse than immigrant children in other trades. Technically neither beggars nor vagrants, they were nevertheless perceived as a threat to the urban order by practicing a veiled form of mendicancy. While charitable agencies pushed for an end to this ``virtual slave trade,'' the liberal American press sensationalized the issue with stories of seedy dens of swarthy waifs. By the late 1880s the child street musicians had largely disappeared, many pushed into ``useful'' occupations where conditions were equally exploitive. This extremely interesting, unusual study, enlivened by photographs, throws a floodlight on ethnic prejudice, cultural constructs of childhood, Tammany Hall politics and 19th-century immigration and working conditions.

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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9780773517554: The Little Slaves of the Harp: Italian Child Street Musicians in Nineteenth-Century Paris, London, and New York (McGill-Queen's Studies in Ethnic History, 13)

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Book Description McGill-Queen s University Press, Canada, 1992. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The padrone were often known to the families of the children or were from the same villages. While some were cruel exploiters who compelled obedience through terror and abuse - a view promoted by a few, well-publicized cases - the lot of most of these children was similar to that of child apprentices and helpers in other trades. Public reactions to the child performers were different in each city and reflected the host society s view of the influx of foreign immigrants in general. Although England, France, and the United States developed legislation in the mid-nineteenth century to deal with children in factories, they did not attempt to regulate children in street trades until later in the century because they saw the work as a form of begging. The battle to get Italian child musicians off the street dragged on for years before legislation and new work opportunities - often as onerous as or worse than street performing - directed the children into new trades. Seller Inventory # BTE9780773508903

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