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HIS109Y1 (536)


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Anthony Cantor

Modern Antisemitism -Why modern? -Jews in 19 -century Germany -Jews in the anti-Semitic imagination -Fin-de-siecle Vienna -Russia: Pale of Permanent Jewish Settlement -The Dreyfus Affair -Zionism Why modern? -connections to nationalism (powerful, unifying idea of a category of peoplehood as being an essential bond of loyalty), pseudo-scientific thinking of social Darwinism & imperialism, advent of mass politics & public spheres (where politicians saw it as advantageous to mobilize mass sections of the public to maintain support), developments in the wake of liberalism & constitutionalism (create situation for Jewish emancipation & legal equality, which allows unexpected rise in prominence & success for marginalized communities which is seized upon my racial theorists) -the word “anti-Semitism” dates from 1879 -takes on a diff. character in this modern age -implies pseudo-scientific, social Darwinist approach to the idea of Jewish belonging -want to portray Jews as an ethnic group (Semite is a category of heritage, not belief & religion) -Jews became identified as a “national other”; a group that seemed apart from the community -prejudice against Jews became diff. from what it was in the pre-modern context -first international anti-Semitic congress was held in Dresden, Germany in 1882: Jewish presence in Europe was something they wanted to combat “Modern political anti-Semitism is diff. from any earlier, sporadic outbreaks of Jew-baiting.” Why? th -Arose from conditions which hadn’t existed before the last third of the 19 century -Only then was it possible to organize political movements entirely/partly around supposed threat that Jews represented to national success (anti-Semitism) -Only then could anti-Semitism become part of a coherent set of ideas, or way of understanding the world -Ethnic/racial anti-Semitism vs. religious Jew-hatred Jews in 19 -century Germany -1880: Jews were thought to be v. well assimilated in Germany -some Jews argued for reforming religious practice to make it seem more modern -suggested ways of achieving legal equality for Jews: -Integration -Acculturation -Religious modernization -Fight for emancipation – equal legal rights -Christian-Jewish public sphere -Jews in Germany were v. aware of the principles of the Fr. Rev. (ex. Jewish emancipation, civic nationalism) & pushed for these same things in Germany Ex. Jews protested Body-tax that Jews had to pay when they crossed bridges -Jews wanted to go protest at the Congress of Vienna Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786) -philosopher who wanted Jews to be part of the public sphere -Christians would often argue that Jews shouldn’t have equal participation b/c their religion wasn’t “rational” but Moses argued that the Jewish religion was more rational than the Christian religion -1848 Rev., liberal ideas of national belonging held a lot of hope for Jews to belong based on citizenship -after 1848 Rev., Germany, Austria & Russia were characterized by repression & attempt to restore the old regime -increased presence of Jews in the public sphere -many German states after 1848 refused to do things like legally recognize the Jewish religion & education (in second half of 19 century meant that Jews faced diff. collective disenfranchisement & second-class status) Ex. Jews had to pay double taxes in Germany to build schools for themselves -Prussia emancipated (remove laws that specifically limit what they could do) Jews in 1869 -w/ Germany unification in 1871 came full legal emancipation of German Jews these positive changes promoted negative, violent reactions Jews in the anti-Semitic imagination -Intermediary & non-productive occupations (middle-men) -Artistic
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