Guilds of Lübeck Germany Demand Right to Expel All Jews; Request Granted Hot

Guilds of Lübeck Germany Demand Right to Expel All Jews; Request Granted

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte
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Now that Napoleon has left, guilds in Lübeck, Germany, demand the right to expel all Jews from the city. Their request is granted, though the city promises that Jews who move to nearby Moisling will be granted most of the right of citizens of Lübeck.

The French Revolution guaranteed both freedom of worship and freedom of religious belief for everyone, not just different denominations of Christianity. The French Revolution also provided for the equality of everyone before the law, not just Christians. This dramatically improved the position of Jews in areas under French control - and the areas under French control grew with Napoleon's conquests.

Napoleon's own feelings about Jews are debated. He may have been at least a little antisemitic and he likely wanted to see them assimilate rather than remain a separate community; nevertheless, he at least saw them as a group that could separate rather than as a group which must always remain foreign. This was a significant improvement over the views of many in Europe and he instituted many reforms which improved life for Jews, like abolishing ghettos.

After Napoleon is defeated, the reforms which he and the French Revolution brought to other areas in Europe are rescinded in some places. Sometimes violently, as the built-up resentment of local Christians to the sight of Jews acting like equal humans beings is unleashed all at once. Lübeck, Germany, has historically been an especially antisemitic city with very harsh restrictions against Jews.

In 1701, for example only one Jew was legally allowed to live there and even then only in exchange for a yearly payment. The guilds have been the biggest agitators for antisemitic restrictions, apparently in the fear that Jewish merchants would create too much competition for them.


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