THE JEW BILL OF 1753

For a brief period in the middle of the eighteenth century, the Jewish Question became in England the burning topic of political discussion. To the exclusion of all other interests, Jewish naturalisation monopolised the attention of politicians and publicists. The Jew became the centre of Parliamentary debates ; his psychology, his habits, and his opinions supplied the material for newspaper articles innumerable ; around him was waged a warfare in which scores of pamphleteers took part. The Jewish Question passed beyond the portals of Parliament and the study of the publicist. The controversy fell to the level of the man in the street, and mobs paraded London threatening its Jewish inhabitants to the sound of the refrain : “No Jews, no wooden Shoes.”

The cause of the alarming agitation was a harmless measure introduced into Parliament by the Whig Government of Pelham to enable foreign Jews settled in England to

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