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Jewish EmancipationA History Across Five Centuries$
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David Sorkin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164946

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164946.001.0001

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(p.162) Chapter Thirteen Revolution
Jewish Emancipation

David Sorkin

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the revolution of 1848, which failed to emancipate central Europe's Jews. The revolution had mixed results. Revolution and counterrevolution temporarily dismantled key components of the confessional and corporate state, paving the way for enduring change. A notable achievement was that most liberals expanded their conception of individual rights and representative government to include equality for members of all confessions and equality of all the confessions. However, the revolutionary cauldron helped the various opponents of emancipation begin to shape the potent phenomenon of modern anti-Semitism. Moreover, the revolution unleashed conflicts between nationalities or would-be nationalities, especially in the Habsburg lands. The very term “national minority” emerged during the revolution when the issue of parliamentary democracy collided with that of nationality rights. Jews found themselves caught between competing national claims. Ultimately, opposition to emancipation, the conflicts of nationalities, and the violence against Jews in the early phase of the revolution combined to make some Jewish leaders look to the state as the one reliable source of emancipation.

Keywords:   1848 revolution, Jews, counterrevolution, equality, emancipation, anti-Semitism, national minority, parliamentary democracy, national rights, Jewish leaders

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