The American Jew as patriot, soldier and citizen

Military history of Jewish Americans
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This Israeli Female Soldier Took On A Crowd Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews

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What were the implications to national identity of the patriotism of European Jews in the — period? Jerusalem Post. Kramer, M. In , during Napoleonic rule, Jews were granted equal rights and were therefore obliged to do military service along with the rest of the population. Later in , a Jewish cavalry legion was formed under the command of Berek Joselewicz, initially numbering men and later nearly 2,

This largely territorial definition of the nation is somewhat at odds with more expansive definitions of citizenship, and certainly has implications for how French identity was perceived in the revolutionary period. Given the apparent centrality of birth and territory to ideas of citizenship and military worthiness, the integration of men from newly annexed territories in the later s perhaps receives rather brief treatment, especially from the point of view of the annexed populations themselves.

Tozzi nonetheless makes it clear that, in a military sense, annexation did not automatically make one a Frenchman, and that in fact it was increasingly through military service that some French leaders believed that annexed populations could become more French. The overall image that Tozzi crafts of the revolutionary years is therefore largely one of mistrust and suspicion of foreign soldiers, even as many continued to serve with distinction in the French armies. This generalised picture of disdain for non-French soldiers is, however, nuanced by detailed discussion of the place and history of different national groups within the French military.

From Irish exiles desperate to overthrow British rule to Dutch Patriots eager to spread revolution to the Netherlands, to Swiss guardsmen hired by the regiment from willing cantons, Tozzi covers a wide range of different experiences and motivations for foreign service. The picture that emerges is complex.

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Tozzi also includes in his discussion several lesser-known adjuncts of the French army, such as the American Legions or the black legionnaires who served in both Europe and the Caribbean. The privileges enjoyed by foreign units under the monarchy were not reintroduced during the Empire, although Napoleon did drop the French-language requirement for foreign troops.

Jewish Chaplains in the Civil War

Tozzi nevertheless points to clear continuities from the revolutionary decade and shows that the recalibration of the relationship between soldier and citizen or subject that took place after was not easily undone. The book also shows the importance of military service for setting the racial limits of citizenship. Despite the difficulty of assessing the place of black soldiers in the French army through existing records — we are told that with admirable egalitarianism the revolutionaries did not feel the need to record skin colour in official paperwork — Tozzi uses the examples of primarily black units to assess how far black men could be accepted as equals in the new France.

That some black soldiers gained a sense of equal citizenship through service is evident, but equally obvious is the low regard that many in France seemed to hold for men of different ethnicities. The fact that Napoleon felt able to transfer an entire unit of black Frenchmen in to the service of the King of Naples admittedly at this point a Frenchman and brother-in-law of Napoleon is rather telling.

Other Revolution and Founding Fathers (1765 - 1784) Offerings

More concentrated is the discussion of Jewish soldiers in chapter seven. Here Tozzi offers an interesting perspective on the role of the military in allowing Jews, and especially young Jewish men, to demonstrate their desire for secular French citizenship.

Inspired by History

The dynamics of exclusion faced by Jewish communities at the dawn of the Revolution were notably different from those of foreign subjects, and the treatment of this topic in a chapter of its own allows for a precise analysis to develop. The chapter demonstrates not only that many Jewish communities saw a high proportion of their menfolk serve as National Guards, volunteers or conscripts, but that many Jewish families saw this as a measure of their civic engagement and therefore of their right to be counted as French citizens.

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Tozzi is quick to acknowledge the diversity within the French Jewish population, but he also shows that the questions of military service and obligations to the state that arose under the Republic and Empire ultimately served to help craft a more cohesive national Jewish community. The depth of scholarship in this work is matched by a very readable style and a high quality of presentation.

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Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The American Jew As Patriot, Soldier And Citizen [Simon Wolf] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Published in , this is the history of.

The work is impressively referenced and contains a good bibliography, including a commentary on the archival materials that is more useful than the usual bare list of files consulted although it might have been better placed as part of the bibliography, rather than appearing separately before the endnotes.