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The Twentieth century

At the end of the XIX and beginning of the XX century, San Marino shows signs of serious economic difficulties, caused mainly by the increase in population and the gap between agricultural and industrial development, but also by the appearance of new communication routes and more advantageous economic conditions in transoceanic countries.

san marino emigrazione

Unemployment experiences a sharp increase and with it the phenomenon of emigration.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, emigration has a more local and seasonal form, mainly in Italy, to Tuscany, Rome, Genoa and Trieste, while only at the end of the century are the first permanent migrations of entire families to the Americas (United States, Argentina and Uruguay) and to Greece, Germany and Austria.

This phenomenon lasted until about the 1970s, with slowdowns, for example during the years of World War I, and accelerations due, for example, to the advent of Fascism in Italy and consequently also in San Marino.

Even today there are many communities of Sammarinese living abroad, concentrated mainly in the United States, France and Argentina: more than 15,000 Sammarinese scattered all over the world!

The history and memory of these migrations is preserved and recounted in the Museum of the Emigrant of San Marino.

An important turning point in the political and social life of the country occurred on March 25, 1906, when the Arengo was again convened in the Pieve: 805 heads of families out of 1054 gathered to vote.

The points of discussion were 2:

  • was the government of San Marino to be led by the Prince and Sovereign Council?
  • was the Council to be composed of a proportional number of councilors between the inhabitants of the contado and those of the city?

This was the Republic’s first referendum, which was followed on May 5 by the first electoral law and on June 10, 1906 by the first general elections in San Marino history in which democratic forces triumphed. This episode is known as the Arengo of 1906.

The story continues with the episodes of World War I and World War II.