American Jewish History Essay

783 words - 3 pages

The study of history and historical writings is called historiography; American Jewish history is one form to study about the past of the American Jews. Jacob Rader Marcus and Hasia R. Diner are two historians who broke down American Jewish historiography according to their point of views. In “The Periodization of American Jewish History,” Marcus focuses on four periods of American Jewish history. On the other hand, in “The Study of American Jewish History: in the Academy, in the Community,” Diner discusses many dates celebrate and urge the study of American Jewish history. Marcus and Diner both approach with historical information; however, Marcus approaches historiography through specific, cultural eras while Diner briefly summarizes American Jewish history through dates. Marcus and Diner summarize the emergence of American Jewish history, however, one uses particular blocks of time while the other brings general situations and their dates.
Jacob Rader Marcus breaks down American Jewish history into four cultural periods - Sephardic, Dutch, Eastern European, and American. The Sephardic period is furthermore broken down into the Colonial period which then becomes the Dutch era and English phase. The Dutch era (1654-1664) is known for the bigotry of the Stuyvesant “party” who wished to expel the Jews from America and deny them their rights. During the English phase (1664-1776), however, the British mercantilists gave the Jewish people some rights. Next came the Early National Period that ranged from 1776-1840. At this period, America was under the control of a new government and the Jews, for the first time, began to receive full political rights. From the year 1841-1920, the German period began when a German colleague joined the Sephardic Isaac Leeser. The Germans adapted well in the Americas, and, by the 1860’s, they had established all the basic Jewish institutions because they were masters of manufacturing. Meanwhile, from 1852-1920, East European immigrants joined the lives of the German immigrants. They were orthodox and devout Jews who cared passionately about their Jewish culture. Eventually, the harmony between the Germans and East Europeans faded when the East Europeans wished to overthrow the power of the Germans. However, the Germans refused to give up their power and by the 1920’s, the two groups were on their own, separate paths. Lastly comes the American Jewry period, which began in 1921. By this time, the Jews were considered natives...

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