Until the late 18th century, The Jewish societies all over the world were
treated unfairly. Hatred and discrimination were used against because of their
religious practices. Jews who live in predominately Christian or Muslim
territories were forced to covert to the religion of that area. If Jews did not
obey their, then they we either ordered to leave or they would be persecuted.
Before the French Revolution, Jewish, culture and beliefs were not accepted in
most European nations. Jews did not even have rights and were not treated equal.
The French Revolution was one that had a great effect on Jews, because over a
period of time Jews who resided in France were treated as equals, and gained
rights and freedoms. Like many other European nation, it was hard to accept Jew
as equal citizens. In the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of
Citizen,” extended rights to every Frenchmen except Jews in 1789. It took
until 1791 to consider Jews as Frenchmen. This caused many fellow countrymen to
raise questions such as, “are all Jews considered equal?” or “are
Jews allow to marry Christian or other fellow Frenchmen?” Napoleon answered
these questions by stating that as long as Jewish religion and practices do not
interfere with their government or state life, that they were free to act as any
French citizen would. Jews were allowed to study their religion and to integrate
into society instead of being excluded. Even though they gain citizenship and
freedom, Jews were also restricted to do certain things. In the “Infamous
Decree”, Napoleon put many restrictions on a predominately Jewish business,
money lending. Napoleon used this as a political advantage. It seemed that
imposed these restriction as a way to compromise with French society, and given
them an upper hand, instead of leaving them in debt to Jews. The French
Revolution had a great effect on Jewish life. It did not grant the Jewish
society as whole freedom, but gave Jewish individual’s citizenship in France.
Prior to the French Revolution, many Jews were being sent away or persecuted.
France allowed them to be apart of a nation instead of being that nation
problem. Like any group of diverse people, I think that Jews had mixed feeling
on Napoleon. The Majority of Jews in France appreciated him for granting them
freedom and citizenship. There were many others who wanted a little bit more
than what he had offered such a Jews with political influence. Overall, the Jews
needed Neapolitan, and that they need him. They needed protection, citizenship,
and to be included into a society, which would, let them practice their faith.
He wanted a bigger and stronger French nation.