National Geographic : 1919 Jul
PROGRESSIVE WORLD STRUGGLE OF THE JEWS art. They became ministers of the gov ernment and its representatives abroad. The kindly Saracenic soil for their growth gave a full development to the race, and the Spanish, or Sephardic, Jews were fine specimens of physical and in tellectual manhood. They became in a way the aristocracy of the house of Israel. This favorable condition continued until the reconquest of Spain by the Christians began, and lasted in lessening degree to the expulsion of the Moors from Granada, in the fifteenth century. Meantime every great upheaval seemed to increase Jewish persecution and Jew ish misery. The First Crusade, in 1096, which de veloped such wonderful religious spirit in the middle and upper classes, led the scum and the rabble to a persecution of the Jews. This recurred in the Second Crusade, in 1146. MASSACRES OF THE JEWS UNDER THE PLANTAGENETS A cruel massacre of the Jews occurred in II89 in England, at the time of the coronation of Richard I, although the king favored them and they had acquired a hold in England to such an extent that there had been established a Jewish ex chequer, where Jews had to register all their transactions and through which the financial troubles of the Plantagenets were greatly remedied by Jewish gold. They were, however, expelled in 1290 from England by Edward I, it is said at the instance of the Queen Mother Eleanor, whose religious intolerance could not brook their presence. The Fourth Lateran Council, under Innocent III, among many anti-Jewish measures, required Jews to wear a dress or badge indicating their race. Soon after in all the cities of Europe they were compelled to live in a particular quarter surrounded by walls and were locked in at night. Hemmed in and congested in these ghettos, the Jewry of Europe lived out their painful lives until the middle of the eighteenth century. St. Louis of France expelled the Jews in 1254, treated them badly, and then in vited them back. Philip IV expelled them, and nine years afterwards, in 1315, his successor, Louis X, recalled them. They were finally expelled by Charles VI in 1394. ACCUSED OF BLACK-DEATH SORCERY In 1348 and 1349 there came the plague of the "black death" all over Europe. Probably because of the hygienic effect of the Mosaic and Talmudic law, to which the Jews conformed with rigidity, they escaped the ravages of the epidemic. This was noted among the people, and at once the report spread that the plague had come from wells poisoned by the Jews, and another series of massacres of these poor people followed everywhere. During the plague, Pope Clement VI issued two bulls in an attempt to protect the Jews. The Popes in the course of the centu ries, however, issued many bulls against the Jews. The bulls were enforced with much greater severity in other countries than by the Popes themselves, who in actual administration often exhibited much leniency toward this unfortunate race. Canon law had forbidden the tak ing of interest or usury by Christians; but this did not apply to the Jews, and as the Jews had the money, they did the lending. They thus became objects of interest to the kings of the various countries who had to borrow money, and they were made private servants of the monarchs, servi camare, a position of apparent privilege which, however, in the end only subjected the Jews to greater persecution. CHARGED WITH HUMAN SACRIFICE An uncertain tolerance was the only relief from constant persecution, which was their usual condition after the cru sades and the black plague. Every ex cuse for attacking them was seized. Huss in Bohemia proclaimed his adherence to the teachings of Wycliffe in 1420. He was persecuted by the church-but so, too,, were the Jews-for his agitation among Christians, with which they had naught to do. In 1481 the Inquisition was set on foot in Spain, and in 1492, after Granada fell, the Jews were expelled. They were driven into northern Africa, into Turkey, and into Italy.