Great Britain or Judea Nova? National Identity, Property, and the Jewish Naturalization Controversy of 1753
In the September 1, 1753, issue of Jackson’s Oxford Journal, a song entitled Advice to the Freeholders appeared. The chorus, repeated four times, warned that for their sins, Britons were going to lose their “Liberties, Properties, and their Fore-Skins.”1 According to the lyricist, it was apparent that a national, Divine retribution was about to be unleashed, rendering the British people propertyless and circumcised slaves. The verses recounted the national transgressions that would bring such a stiff sentence. The primary sin was the ratification of the Jewish Naturalization Act the previous May. Advice to the Freeholders was one of the many pieces of propaganda designed to incite public opinion to effect the repeal or preservation of the legislation. Polemicists published dozens of pamphlets, broadsides, and newspaper articles in the spring and summer of 1753 attacking and defending the legislation.
KeywordsEighteenth Century National Identity Jewish Immigration British Nation Christian Religion
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