A History Of The Habsburg Jews By Mccagg: Summary

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Speaking generally about the record of Jewish history, it is easy to focus on the more prevalent stories of the Holocaust or the creation of Israel. William O. McCagg Jr. set out draw some light on the lesser known parts of Jewish history, a story which lays the ground work for the modern day Easter European Jew. In his book A History of the Habsburg Jews (1670-1918) McCagg presents a general overview of the Habsburg Jewery while drawing comparisons between the major regions as the ascend down the road to modernization. The book covers the policies enacted throughout the later part of the 18th Century which paved the ways for Jewish Assimilation, Acculturation, and Enlightenment. These new ideas often had adverse effects such as wide spread anti-semitism and the Revolutionary spark of 1848, but despite of these issues the Habsburg Jewery was able to adjust to the modern world with relatively some success. Before a more in depth examination of the modernization of the Habsburg Jews can begin, it is important first to discuss the conditions and polices that the Jewish community lived under during the 18th Century as a means for establishing a baseline for further comparisons. McCagg attributes the road of modernization not to Joseph II, like…show more content…
He looked to the Enlightened reformative policies of his mother, when shaping his leadership style. He relaxed censorship, extended religious tolerance to non-Catholic Christians and ended serfdom. While also instituting administrative and judicial reforms. In regards to the Jewish question, Joseph II made policies changes in hopes of encouraging economic participation by the secluded Jewish community. He abolished the body tax and extended Jews the right to attend school. He encourage involvement in new profession in an attempt to boost the over all economy of the Empire by allowing them to found factories and join previously barred

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