This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1917 edition. Excerpt: ...Jewish taxes made the Jewish community dependent largely upon its wealthy members, and hence the old-time aristocracy of learning was superseded in large degree by an aristocracy of wealth. Gradually, however, with the progress of civilization, Jewish disabilities were slowly removed, one after the other, in northern and western Europe, by special laws, and Mendelssohn's efforts to secure the adoption of the German language by the Jews of Germany, and thereafter the French Revolution, left only four or five important Jewish special branches of jurisdiction remaining for those countries, as citizenship conferred upon the Jews all civil rights under the law of the land while, as we will presently see, their progress in England and the United States had been greater and along different lines. Marriage, divorce, usury laws, the special Jewish oath and laws as to inheritance constituted the chief exceptions. For continental Europe, Napoleon's famous "Assembly of Notables" of 1806 and the "French Sanhedrin" of 1807 are the great landmarks of our new era. Napoleon put to these assemblies, among other questions, his rhetorical question whether the French Jews constitute "a state within the state"--a question which is still of great importance even in our day--or acknowledge France as their country, feel bound to defend it, and bound to obey the laws of France. The question as to loyalty to their adopted country the delegates answered spontaneously, without waiting to frame the same in writing, by proclaiming their readiness to defend France until death, and they framed a declaration as to their relations to the law of the land which we can still accept implicitly, to wit, "that their religion makes it their duty to...