Uebersicht der Verhandlungen der Rheinischen Provinzialstaende auf dem ersten Landtage.

AUCTION 61 | Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic Art and Ceremonial Objects

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Lot 109

Uebersicht der Verhandlungen der Rheinischen Provinzialstaende auf dem ersten Landtage.

pp. 68. Original printed wrappers. Lg. 4to.

Coblenz: 1827

Est: $600 - $900
Contains the proceedings of the first Assembly of the Provincial Diet (Provinziallandtag) of the Prussian province of the Rhineland, the petitions of which were submitted to Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia (1770-1840) whose responses are here issued. The Provincial Diet had the task of advising the monarch and making suggestions on legal regulations pertaining to taxes, property, individual rights, etc. Chapter 11 contains the Assembly’s reaction to Friedrich Wilhelm’s wish to secure an overview of the legal situation of Rhineland Jewry and his inquiry as to whether the Assembly would like to make suggestions concerning their civic and legal status. The Assembly states here that 20,742 Jews live in the province of Rhineland. Jews who live in areas that were under French occupation enjoy full civil rights, whereas the Jews from other areas (e.g. Nassau) remain under the old regulations (e.g they require letters of protection that can only be passed to one child, they are not allowed to own land, they need special permission to trade, etc). The Assembly suggests the following regulations: The various Jewish communities should be under the supervision of a “General-Synedrio,” which would control all religious matters and their obligations to the host society. Religious textbooks, religious classes, trade books and contracts should all be in German. Loans by Jews to minors, women and soldiers without the consent of their respective guardians, husbands or officers should be annulled. Foreign Jews may settle in Rhineland only with the permission of the king. Jews cannot become citizens, but only protected Jews. All Jews must acquire a family name. Friedrich Wilhelm responded to these suggestions with a promise to consider them. After the defeat at Jena (1806), Friedrich Wilhelm had inaugurated a liberal policy, part of which was the famous emancipation edict of 11th March 1812. Its most important feature was the declaration of the Jews’ civic equality with Christians. The law however, was declared to apply only to those provinces which had been under Prussian dominion in 1812 (which did not include the Rhineland). This resulted in a complex variety of twenty-two local codes of law for Prussian Jewry. Friedrich Wilhelm later reverted to reactionary and conservative policies and Jews in the other provinces (including the Rhineland) only gained full citizen rights under his successors.