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Chapter Four Coping with New Realities

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Chapter Summary

The shock that many Jewish intellectuals felt during the pogroms of 1881-82 was the result not only of the (re)appearance of virulent Judeophobia, but of the discovery borne out by legal measures that the government had no intention of even moving slowly toward emancipation. In Russia some writers, even before the pogroms, had blamed Jewish enterprise for the disruptive side effects produced by economic and social changes in the wake of Alexander II's reforms, especially the emancipation of the serfs. Simon Dubnow's remarks on the uprising, an event both secular and religious in the modern sense of these terms, was an indication of his desire to take into consideration the peculiar features of Jewish history. Dubnow summarized statistics on the percentage of Jews in the total population and in urban areas, the Jewish birth and death rate, and the distribution of professions among Jews in the province.

Keywords: Alexander II; Jewish history; Judeophobia; Russia; Simon Dubnow



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