Teacher | Student
Originally produced in: Italy
Also available in: en

5. Prejudices and stereotypes against Italians who emigrated to the USA: satiric sketches of “Judge” in 1903

A fragment of a cartoon published on June 6, 1903 “Judge” Click image to enlarge
Source: a fragment of a cartoon published on June 6, 1903 “Judge”; reproduced by G.A. Stella, L’orda. Quando gli albanesi eravamo noi, Rizzoli, Milano 2002, the whole picture can be found on-line at: http://rcslibri.corriere.it/rizzoli/stella/immagini/vignette.spm.


It is obvious that among Italian migrants there were all kinds of people and yet, the stereotype of a raging Italian criminal and killer did not take so much to spread.

Why? Since each stereotype must have a source, the origins of this prejudice, as well as its peculiarity, should be well analysed, as this particular stereotype was the reason why Italians were often held in great contempt. This often caused other problems. Such a study might also be useful to understand the reasons why Uncle Sam was so eager to look suspiciously at those slummy rats arriving from Europe.


  1. Describe the cartoon: characters, dimensions and text.
  2. What kind of objects are the rats carrying, disembarking the ship?
  3. What does the short text say?
  4. What is the main aim of the image, particularly from the perspective of the dissemination of some ideas and prejudices?

Display teacher's view to find the answers.