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Ograniczenia praw politycznych i cywilnych ludności żydowskiej w Księstwie Warszawskim

Studia Iuridica Toruniensia
Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika/Nicolaus Copernicus University
Publication Date
DOI: 10.12775/sit.2010.001
  • Duchy Of Warsaw
  • Political Rights
  • Civil Rights
  • Jews
  • Restrictions
  • Economics
  • Political Science


Established in 1807, the Duchy of Warsaw was subordinated to France. Napoleon preordered clearly to apply there the liberal, at that time, constitution and the decisive French civil code. Contrary to the hopes of Jewish population, that fact did not lead to equalization of their position with the rightful citizens. On 17 October 1808 a decree was issued cancelling all the political rights of Jews for the period of 10 years. Whereas on 19 November 1808 another decree defi nitely prohibited the Jews to purchase and to succeed to an estate (for the period of 10 years, as well). Therefore, the Jews did not have the right to become members of parliament or to elect ones. The typical career of a Jewish citizen in such prestigious professions like lawyer was still quite impossible, they were forbidden to purchase the land in the country too. The old regulations establishing Jewish ghettos in cities were replaced by the regulations preventing the Jews from living along the posh streets. However, the authorities of the Duchy of Warsaw gave hopes for receiving the equality of rights for those Jews meritorious as far as the national interest was concerned or leaving their traditional way of life. Hence, the law regulations preventing them from living on certain streets gave exceptions to those of certain wealth, performed certain professions, were able to read and write in Polish, French or German, send their children to public schools or were dressed according to the modern European fashion. Worth mentioning is the fact the total abandoning of Jewish faith and customs guaranteed the equal rights with Poles. Besides that the Jews were obliged to pay special tax duties, They were also limited in terms of economic freedom, especially as far as the prohibition of production and selling alcohol was concerned (the act from 30 October 1812). The clear aim of this law policy was to denationalize the Jewish minority and to restrict their economical power. It cannot be forgotten, however, that similar law and policy was introduced at that time in many other European countries, and the Duchy of Warsaw was by all means a temporary state of the country that did not have the chance for the real political, social and law development

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