Document Based Question Created by Jennifer Norton



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European History

Document Based Question



Created by

Jennifer Norton


Argonaut High School, Jackson, CA

Mandel Fellow – United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 1999-2000




Directions: The following question is based on the accompanying Documents

1-12. (Some of the documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise.)


This question is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents. As you analyze the documents, take into account both the sources of the documents and the authors’ point of view. Write an essay on the following topic that integrates your analysis of the documents. Do not simply summarize the documents individually. You may refer to relevant historical facts and developments not mentioned in the documents, although you are not required to do so.

Analyze various Europeans’ attitudes about and treatment of

Jews from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries.


Historical Background: Jewish dispersion throughout Europe, the Diaspora, began during the Roman Empire. Throughout the Middle Ages, rulers and Christian church authorities passed laws limiting Jewish professions and land ownership, and requiring that Jews be publicly identified by dress. Jewish religious observances and customs, including Saturday Sabbath worship, prohibitions against consumption of pork, and circumcision set them apart from and often aroused the hostility of the Christian communities in which they lived. This hostility resulted in periodic expulsions of Jews, as in France in 1182 and later in 1306, and in England in 1290. Devastated by Mongol invasions in the 13th century, Polish princes welcomed immigrants from Western Europe which resulted in the establishment of a large Jewish population there by the sixteenth century.



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