The New Ideas Of The Enlightenment And Industrial Revolution Essay

The New Ideas Of The Enlightenment And Industrial Revolution Essay

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In the late Eighteenth-Century to the early Twentieth-Century, Europe underwent a plethora of changes. These changes bolstered industrial development, economic growth, government reform, education reform, and military reform. Germany was one of the biggest beneficiaries of these changes and its economy increased drastically. Yet, with all the new social ideas and freedoms Germany’s national religion remained Protestant and Jews remained a small minority. Cases of anti-Semitism were demonstrated through political, social, and economic means. Large cities saw anti-Semitic groups sprout up, alienating the Jewish population with their articles published in newspapers that were spread throughout Germany thanks to the industrial revolution. All the new ideas of the enlightenment and industrial revolution were slow to reach rural farm towns which remained profoundly traditional in their ways of life. German and Prussian nationalism enticed the populace to adopt Protestantism as the solitary religion, this reinforced the segregation of minorities which consequently caused a major disconnect between traditional ethnic beliefs and progressive political decrees.
The Christian alienation of Judaism can be traced back to 1150 with the first documented accusation of a Jewish ritual murder (Smith 91). These tales of Jews killing Christians in ritual like manners quickly began to make there way into Christian folklore far before they sprouted in Germany and Prussia. According to Helmut Walser Smith in his book The Butchers Tale, he believes that, “these tales, and tales like them about other groups, provided a firm foundation for a newly constructed persecuting society” (Smith 93). Smith believes this alienation and persecution started during t...

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...thin the Empire. The situation escalated when the mysterious murderer could not be found. Christian residents took to the streets shouting anti-Semitic slurs such as, “Jews out” and “beat the Jews to death” (Smith 179). In the case of Konitz Smith states, “Not the Jews but their Christian accusers performed the ritual murder”, the Christian residents made the story, the Christian residents rioted in the street with clubs, and the Christian residents prompted the government to intervene using military force. Meanwhile, the Jewish community, per usual, remained silent with no retaliation to the remarks made by the Christians. The culprit of the crime was never found, Smith writes, “But even if we do not have the ‘dead certainty’ to hang a man, we can see that in this West Prussian town, although there was only one corpse, there was more than one crime” (Smith 206).

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