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Jews in Poland and Russia: 1881-1914 v. 2$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113836

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113836.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Jewish Spaces: Shtetls and Towns in the Nineteenth Century

Jewish Spaces: Shtetls and Towns in the Nineteenth Century

(p.162) Six Jewish Spaces: Shtetls and Towns in the Nineteenth Century
Jews in Poland and Russia: 1881-1914 v. 2

Antony Polonsky

Antony Polonsky

Liverpool University Press

This chapter addresses the specific conditions in which Jews lived, first in small and market towns and then in the large towns whose emergence was such a characteristic feature of nineteenth-century Europe. The legal situation of the Jews in these towns changed significantly. The abolition of serfdom and feudal conditions, first in Prussian Poland and then in Galicia, the Congress Kingdom, and the Pale of Settlement, did away with the rights of the noble owner of the small town. With the exception of the tsarist empire, where the laws restricting Jewish rights of residence were tightened after 1881, Jews could now live in any part of any town. Throughout this period, Jews remained a key element of the rural economy and retained their role as intermediaries between the estate and the village. However, social stratification became more extreme in the Jewish small town, as some profited from the commercialization of agriculture and the new links with the outside world while others were impoverished by the disappearance of their traditional occupations.

Keywords:   Jews, Jewish small towns, Jewish market towns, Prussian Poland, Galicia, tsarist empire, Jewish rights of residence, rural economy, social stratification, commercial agriculture

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