An essay discussing to which extent economic change during 1789-1939 was a factor in the changing nature of anti-Semitism.

Essay by hashthedealerHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2005

download word file, 7 pages 3.0

Downloaded 41 times
Keywords , , , ,

The modern industrial age brought along with it a whole new school of thought, thought based on science and rationality rather than the waning belief in religion. The social and economic revolution also saw Jews in a new light, one in which they were not merely thought of as Jews, in the religious sense, but viewed now as a people with their own particular inherited characteristics. For this reason hating Jews for their religious beliefs became outdated as a more modern and racially based Jew-hatred took its place.

Jew-hatred, in its older form, saw short temporary violence towards Jews. This is stark in contrast to modern anti-Semitism which, with its racial ideology, brought a more structured and sustained attack on the Jewish race. The grounds for this were based on the developed belief by anti-Semites that Jews were "an unwanted intruder, arrogant, skilled and power hungry" (P. Pulzer). A number of political parties with anti-Semitic policies formed during this period highlighting the fact that this new form of Jew-hating had permanent, long-lasting convictions.

Before Jewish emancipation Jews were forced to live in ghettoes, secluded from the rest of society. Violence against them was brutal but not permanent enough to produce a reconstruction of the Jewish position in society. As Jews became viewed as a race with undesirable enduring characteristics they became persecuted in a way that sought an permanent end to the Jewish influence in modern day life. This raised a number of potential solutions among anti-Semites that considered the elimination of the Jewish race.

The cause of these changes in the nature of anti-Semitism can be related to the economic circumstances during this period; however this was not the only cause of this change. Other factors including the increased value of science, the growth of nationalistic ideas among European...