Admission%20of%20Jews - 98 DEBATES OVER CITIZENSHIP AND...

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Unformatted text preview: 98 DEBATES OVER CITIZENSHIP AND RIGHTS sively embraces any region; a tribe whose religion, customs, and phys ical and moral regime essentially differ from that of all other people; a tribe finally whose eyes tum constantly toward the common father- land that should one day reunite its dispersed members and which cannot consequently consecrate any solid attachment to the land that supports it . . . There are only in France a small number of provinces wherelews have been permitted to establish themselves. The rest of the kingdom has but little or no relationship to the individuals of this nation. Thus, the greater part of the deputies would not know how to judge the present question with sufficient knowledge of the issue. The decision, nonetheless, is of a kind that should not be left to the enthusiasm of the emotions or to the seduction of the mind [presumably by excessively humanitarian lean- 1n 5 . . . . ng'iere are also moral and local considerations that should, ifnotguide, then at least enlighten the legislation regarding the Jewish nation. The prejudices of the people against the Jews are only too well-know. From time to time, they explode into violence: recently in Alsace, some people committed the most criminal excesses against the Jews. A few months ago, similar misfortunes menaced them in Nancy {a city in Lorraine] . People wanted to pillage their houses, mistreat their persons; the animosity was exteme. Did they merit this malevolence because of criminal maneuvers, monopolies, or ventures contrary to the interests of the people? No, Sire: the most. serious reproach made to them was spreading out too much into the province, acquiring houses, lands, and privileges that the former laws did not give to them. - 7 From this account it is easy to understand the habitual disposition of the people; it is a fire always ready to be lit. Any extension that a decree of the National Assembly would hasten to give to the civil existence of the Jews, before opinion has been prepared in advance and led by degrees to this change, could occasion great disasters. It is only prudent to foresee possible misfortunes; it is only wise to prevent them. ADMISSION 0F JEWS TO RIGHTS OF CITIZENSHIP 99 25 Admission of Jews to Rights of Citizenship September 27, 1791 “WWW After several tumultuous discussions of the jewish communities still ax- cludedfrom political rights, the National Assembly finally voted to regu- lonlze the situation of all the dzfléreut fewisk communities on September 27, 1791. Adrian jean Francois Dupon‘ (1759-1798), a deputy from the nobility of Paris, proposed the motion; The deputies shouted down those who attempted to speak against it, and it quickly passed. A subsequent amendment indicated that swearing the civic out}: implied u renunciation of precious jewisk privileges, that is, the right to an autonomous commu- nity ruled by its own members according to its own customs. The law requiredjews to be indiuiduulsjust like everyone else in France. DUPORT: I have one very short observation to make to the Assembly, which appears to be of the highest importance and which demands all its attention. You have regulated by the Constitution, Sirs, the qualities deemed necessary to become a French citizen, and an active citizen: that sufficed, I believe, to regulate all the incidental questions that could have. been raised in the Assembly relative to certain professions, to certain persons. But there is a decree of adjournment that seems to strike a blow at these general rights: I speak of the Jews. To decide the question that concerns them, it suffices to lift the decree of ad- journment that you have rendered and which seems to suspend the question in their regard. Thus, if you had not rendered a decree of adjournment on the question of the Jews, it would not have been necessary. to do anything; for, having declared by your Constitution how all peoples of the earth could become French citizens and how . all French citizens could become active citizens, there would have been no difficulty on this subject. I ask therefore that the decree of adjournment be revoked and that it be declared relative to the Jews that they will be able to become active citizens, like all the peoples of the world, by fulfilling the conditions prescribed by the Constitution. I believe that freedom of worship no longer permits any distinction to be made between the political rights of Source2Archzoesparlemeutotres 31 (1888): 372. The law on the Jews was approved by Louis XVI on Nov. 13, 1791. Figure 3. Titled "You Will Be Happy," this is one of the rare engravings know to be from the hand of a woman, Citizeness Rollet Rollet presumabiy was sympathetic to the abolition of slavery. THE ABOLITION 0F NEGRO SLAVERY 1 0 1 citizens on the basis of their beliefs and I believe equally that the Jews cannot be the only exceptions to the enjoyment of these rights, when pagans, Turks, Muslims, Chinese even, men of all the sects, in short, are admitted to these rights. Decree of the National Assembly of September 27, 1791 The National Assembly, considering that the conditions necessary to he a French citizen and to become an active citizen are fixed by the Consti- tution, and that every man meeting the said conditions, who swears the civic oath, and engages himselfto fulfill all the duties that the Constitution imposes, has the right to all of the advantages that the Constitution assures; Revokes all adjournments, reservations, and exceptions inserted into the preceding decrees relative to Jewish individuals who will swear the civic oath which will be regarded as a renunciation of all the privileges and exceptions introduced previously in their favor. FREE BLACKS AND SLAVES 26 The Abolition of Negro Slooeey 07 Means forAmelz‘omtz'og Their Lot 1 789 lite vote on the Declaration of the Rights of More and Citizen, explicz'tbr cited in this pamphlet}. did not go zineotieed by those who favored abolition of the sieve trade and eventual emancipation of the slaves. Yet even the most determined adversaries of slavery worried about the Consequences of immediate abolition, especiolbifor the French economy. As a result! advo- cates of abolition patforword a variety ofproposotsforgmduol emancipa- tion and restmotufing of the coiom'oi economies. Their proposals gained Source: L’Escioooge dos aégres aboli on minions dizme’lioref fear sort (Paris: Chez Froullé, 1789), 3-10. . «.35.;- 22W. .z._<'a': ...
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Admission%20of%20Jews - 98 DEBATES OVER CITIZENSHIP AND...

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