Discrimination and prejudice have been in our world for as long as humans have themselves. Discrimination has caused problems in societies all throughout history. But despite all of the terrible things that have happened because of prejudice and discrimination, it continues to live on in our world today.
Anti-Semitism, prejudice against Jews, is a form of discrimination that has caused perhaps the most problems throughout history. Many people describe anti-Semitism as more than simply "prejudice" or "discrimination" against Jews. It is often the result of hatred and despise of the Jews, resulting in persecution and destruction. Anti-Semitism can often occur because a religious group is trying to make itself look better (Anti-Judaism/Anti-Semitism). Jealousy and envy are also major causes of anti-Semitism. A study on anti-Semitism found that people who are anti-Semitic are likely to also have negative feelings about African-Americans, Immigrants, gays and lesbians, illegal aliens, and women (JCRC - Anti-Semitism).
As have all prejudices, anti-Semitism has been around a long time. It has been around since the time of Christ. One of the first events that gave rise to anti-Semitism was the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Mrs. Hahn's Notes). Jews were considered the murderers of Christ. Because of this hatred towards Jews, Jerusalem was destroyed, killing over 1 million Jews who resided there (A Calendar of Jewish Persecution).
Jews were also persecuted extensively throughout the Roman Empire. In 135 AD, Roman Emperor Hadrian declared Jerusalem a pagan city. He forbade Jews to practice circumcision, the reading of the Law, eating of unleavened bread at Passover, or any Jewish festival. In 315, Constantine the Great established Christianity as the official religion throughout the Roman Empire. He also created many anti-Jewish laws. Later, between 379 and 395, Theodosius the Great made even more anti-Jewish laws, such as prohibiting them from serving in office. He also permitted the destruction of their synagogues if it served some religious purpose. (A Calendar of Jewish Persecution).
The next major event of Jewish persecution was the Crusades. Beginning in the late 11th century and early 12th century, Germans persecuted Jews, Muslims, and other religions because of their beliefs. The Germans accused the Jews of killing Jesus Christ. Over 12,000 Jews were killed in Germany during the First Crusade. The mid-1100's marked the beginning of the Second Crusade, when the Germans persecuted the Jews again. However, the Second Crusade was not as bad as the first, since much less Jews were killed. (A Calendar of Jewish Persecution).
During the next 500 years, Jewish persecutions occurred often. King Philip banished Jews from France for seven years in 1181. Edward I banished Jews from England in 1290. King Philip the Fair banished Jews from France in 1306. Five thousand Jews were burned at the stake in France because they were...