Skip main navigation

Emancipation: New Possibilities and New Perils

Emancipation: New Possibilities and New Perils

Prof. Shulamit Volkov

The 19th century brought with it gradual emancipation to the European Jews, a process which granted them complete legal equality and full citizenship, eliminating centuries-long restrictions.

How did a European society, which was used to seeing the Jews as socially inferior and visibly different, handle their assimilation into civilian life?


  • Birnbaum, Pierre and Ira Katznelson, eds., Paths of Emancipation: Jews, States and Citizenship (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995).

  • Katz, Jacob, Out of the Ghetto: The Social Background of Jewish Emancipation, 1770-1870 (Cambridge M.A., Harvard University Press, 1973).

  • Volkov, Shulamit, “Exploring the Other: The Enlightenment’s Search for the Boundaries of Humanity,” in Robert Wistrich, ed., Demonizing the Other: Antisemitism, Racism and Xenophobia (Amsterdam: Published for the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, by Harwood Academic Publishers, 1999), pp. 148 – 167.

  • Volkov, Shulamit, Germans, Jews, and Antisemites: Trials in Emancipation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

This article is from the free online

Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now