Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

George Munro


Although historians have written extensively on both the early modern era and the development of an absolute monarchy, the history of Jewish communities in France and the role they played has been largely ignored. Beginning with the French Wars of Religion, this study analyzes to what extent France’s religious situation affected the growth of absolutism and how this in turn affected the Jews. Taking advantage of the fractured nature of the early French monarchy, Jews began settling in provinces along the border of both Spain and the Holy Roman Empire. Affected by economic jealousies and cultural perceptions of Jews, the treatment of these communities by local officials led to requests by Jews for royal intervention in these regions. Perceptions of Jews evolved through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as the French Enlightenment influenced the way Jewish characters were presented. This study then ties these perceptions of Jews to the political and economic reality of these communities in an attempt to create a unified history of France’s early modern Jewish population.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014

Included in

History Commons