Spectra Undergraduate Research Journal


Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences > Humanities > History > European History


January 13, 2023


February 7, 2023


June 15, 2023


Jourdin D. Wilson (JDW)1*

Author Affiliations

1Department of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Corresponding Author

*Jourdin D. Wilson, wilsoj21@unlv.nevada.edu

Corresponding Author ORCID iD


Author Contributions

JDW: Contributed conceptualization, source curation, formal analysis, drafting paper, and reviewing and editing of the manuscript.

Data Availability Statement

The author confirms that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restriction.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares that no conflicts of interest exist.

Ethical Considerations

Given that this project did not involve human or animal subjects, no IRB or IACUC approval was needed. All research was derived from publicly shared sources.


This research was made possible by UNLV’s Office of Undergraduate Research’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (OUR SURF) in 2022. The author’s Fall 2022 scholarships from the Liberal Arts General Scholar, UNLV Excellence Scholarship, and the Millennium Scholarship also contributed.


The citizenship of Jews became more discussed as a result of changes from the French Revolution of 1789. There were a variety of perspectives between non-Jews and Jews, and between different groups of Jews. The research methodology involves the analysis of qualitative primary sources including government texts and debates, groups of everyday Jews, and French Jewish literature and journal excerpts. The theoretical framework of nationalism will guide how citizenship is analyzed in the research, based on Dean Kostantaras’s book Nationalism and Revolution in Europe, 1763-1848. Results show that the way French Jews fit into or engaged with society is quite nuanced, and the Jewish community (Sephardic, Ashkenazi, etc.) or region (Alsace, Bordeaux, etc.), and Napoleon’s methods, had a large influence on the extent to which Jews wanted or did not want to further integrate with French institutions. While many French Jews’ views on their own citizenship were not found in government texts, their opinions were increasingly portrayed directly in journals, Judaic reform, or indirectly through fictional characters in written works. These findings suggest that researching particular groups or regions of French Jews leads to more varied perspectives, rather than a general review of the group as a whole.


French Jewish citizenship/emancipation, French Revolution, French Jewish literature, Enlightenment, Napoleon, 18th-19th century history

Submission Type

Thesis-based research article