It was this ideal of citizenship, in contrast to the arguments of Grégoire, Thiery and much of Enlightenment ideology, which the Parisian revolutionaries embraced when they welcomed the Jews as active participants in the Revolution - on the streets, in the cafes and clubs, and in the uniform of National Guardsmen; and when they prepared their memoirs and petitioned the Constituent Assembly in January-February 1790 on behalf of the Jews. Events in the capital notwithstanding, however, the Constituent Assembly found it necessary as early as December 1789 to test the inclusiveness of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, specifically in relation to participation in civil and military office. When an original motion specifying non-Catholics was expanded to include every male, regardless of profession or the religion he professed, a deputy from Alsace, asked 'Do you mean the Jews?' 'Yes', came the reply.
This brief exchange quickly shifted the discussion from active citizenship to one which questioned the fundamental nature of the new French state and the national identity of its Jewish inhabitants. 'To call the Jews citizens', the abbe Maury proclaimed, 'would be as if one would say that, without letters of naturalization and without ceasing to be English and Danish, the English and Danes could become French'.33 While some deputies argued that the Jews should be excluded altogether, others suggested 'tolerating' them or even giving them 'hospitality', 'protection', and 'security'. To this Clermont-Tonnerre countered with what would soon become not only the paradigm for integration of the Jews throughout Europe but also the leitmotif of future debate on the terms of their emancipation: 'We must refuse everything to the Jews as a nation. We must grant everything to them as individuals. We must cease to recognize their judges, for they shall have only ours. We must refuse them the protection of their own laws. It is necessary that they be neither a political body nor an order. Only as individuals can they be citizens. But one will say, they do not want to be citizens. Ah well! If that is what they want, and they express it, then they must be expelled. It is repugnant that there be in the State a society of non-citizens and a Nation within the Nation. But they do not speak of this . . .'34
On 24 December 1789, the revolutionaries welcomed non-Catholics as full members of the body politic. They also explicitly postponed any decision concerning the Jews. Before pronouncing on this long-suffering people, BonAlbert Briois de Beaumetz announced, 'it is necessary to know from it what it wishes to be, at what price it wishes to obtain its liberty and finally if it is worthy of receiving it'. De Beaumetz's questions may have echoed those of the Metz Academy, but they anticipated as well future discussions among
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