Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in History


Arch Dalrymple III Department of History

First Advisor

Joseph P. Ward

Second Advisor

Jeffrey R. Watt

Third Advisor

Marc H. Lerner


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



This thesis concerns the published writings of the men and women who engaged in the seventeenth-century debate over the readmission of the Jews to England. Historians who have studied this topic, among them David Katz, Cecil Roth, Lucian Wolfe, H.S.Q. Henriques, Peter Toon, and Mordecai Wilensky, have been at a loss to explain why those who ardently argued for Jewish readmission suddenly withdrew their support when Oliver Cromwell called a council to discuss the terms under which readmission would occur. I hope to contribute to this discussion by considering the one issue on which all of the pamphleteers could agree: anti-Catholicism. I argue that support for readmission dissipated so quickly because none of those who wrote in support of it really wanted Jews to become English. Instead, they wanted the English to become Jews. In other words, they appropriated Jewish myths and Jewish identity as the Chosen People in order to explain the Parliamentarian revolution against Church and king and to distinguish English Protestantism from the Catholic Church.

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