how did the kings and other rules punish jews in the middle ages?

4 Answers

  • Best Answer

    If we're talking about 'rules' (rather than mob violence etc), then it was primarily in terms of restrictions on allowed trades, prohibition of land ownership, and where Jews were allowed to live. 'Punishment' after fabricated charges was in the form of increased restrictions or expulsions. Many cities formally kicked out their Jewish residents. Slightly less often it was entire countries.

    Jews weren't allowed to be citizens of any European country until after the French Revolution (so very very late 1700s, mostly in the 1800s and some in the 1900s). Sometimes they were prohibited from owning land specifically because they were Jews, sometimes because it benefitted the ruling elite to confiscate the property and sometimes just because they weren't citizens.

    The current wiki article on the history of Jews in England has an interesting thread woven through it about how Jews were considered to be the property of the king. Have a read through it and see how that peculiar status affected their place in the country. And especially how they were booted out when the allowed roles were no longer useful to kings.

    Source(s): P.S. The downside of that wiki article as it stands is that it puts too much emphasis on those who 'succeeded' despite the restrictions and pretty much ignores the majority who didn't.
  • Chaya
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    You know, of course, that Jews, as a group, did not do anything to be 'punished' for. So, rather than 'punishment' it was more like persecution, false accusation (blood libel), forcing Jews to either convert or ordering them to leave the country, trying to humiliate them by making them wear funny hats or a Star of David so people could pick at them and make sure they stayed in a locked area, limited types of employment to things Christians did not want to do (like banking), and then turn around and blame them for banking. It was more a matter oppressive laws and persecution than punishment.

    Why? Torah was translated and altered to become the "Old Testament". Jews consider it eternal, not old. Starting with the Council of Nicea, the government and national church outlawed Jewish customs, Festivals in the Torah to try to encourage the growth of Christianity and discourage the growth of Judaism. When doctrines were not enough to convert the Jews and make them disappear, governmental policies to restrict their lives escalated in the middle ages.

  • 9 years ago

    Many medieval kings did not punish Jews as such, they were allowed to live in their own communities, though restrictions were placed on how they could earn their living etc. Since many Jews were bankers and money lenders, kings often found them useful for borrowing money etc, and often kings tried to protect jews from anti-Jewish riots, which erupted from time to time.

    However, some kings expelled jewish communities from their countries when they felt they no longer had a use for them. This happened in England in 1290 for instance, when the English Jewish community was forced to leave the country.

  • Jonny
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Since many Jews would not convert to the Christian religion they were punished.

    Isabella I, like her husband, was a devout Catholic. Despite the fact that Spain had been a religiously diverse society with Catholics, Jews, and Muslims living together for many centuries, Isabella and Ferdinand believed it was their obligation to make Roman Catholicism the dominant religion of Spain. As a result, in 1478, Isabella and Ferdinand initiated the Spanish Inquisition. Thousands of Jews who had in recent times converted to Roman Catholicism were looked upon suspiciously. It is estimated that as many as 2,000 Jews were tortured, killed, or forced to leave the country during the Inquisition. There were possibly as many as 40,000 Jews who chose to be baptized to avoid expulsion or persecution. The remaining Muslim population in Spain was later targeted. Isabella is known in the Catholic Church as “Servant of God Isabella” as she has achieved the first step towards becoming a Saint. Surprisingly I'm related to this family.

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