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Between Prejudice and Principle

Something profound is changing in the thinking of Europe and Great Britain. This is the Age of Enlightenment and it is expressed in a change in British Law this year. The law treats Jews as foreigners, so Jews must pay a foreigners tax to do business. The law also states that overseas trade with its colonies can only be conducted between British subjects. With 1% of the Jews in New York doing 12% of the overseas business with Great Britain, the law has come into conflict with reality... and for no good reason. Most of Parliament and King George the 2nd find it barbaric that the Jews should be treated differently from any other British subject, so they pass a law making Jews into naturalized citizens. Unfortunately, his law causes such an uproar with the rank-and-file that it will be repealed next year. The basic elements of naturalization will have to be won in the courts. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI: one of the fellows who pushed for this law was Josiah Tucker, an economist. He predicted that once the American colonies no longer required British support, they would break away. He didn't exactly predict war, but he was the first to anticipate the American Revolution. And keep in mind that Europe will bounce back and forth on the issue of how to treat "the others who are not like us". That is why they are struggling today with the issue of Syrian refugees flooding across their borders. They are worried that they are still prejudiced like their ancestors were. Yet, instead of thinking about how many people can they fit into the boat called Europe without sinking, they are worried about being called racists. As a consequence Europe is well on its way to sinking AND being called racist. We can look back and laugh at our ancestors as they struggled between their prejudices and their principles, but I wonder what future generations will find to laugh at when they look back at our generation? [4] [5] [6]

(Optional) What would I do? I'd take only women and children refugees, hand a rifle to every able-bodied man under 60 and send him back. If he wants to fight for freedom in his own country, I'm willing to help him out. If he doesn't care, then why should I care about his country or him, for that matter?

The Marriage Act... A Comedy

If you say you are married, then you are married. (A religious ceremony is acceptable but not required.) Promises are made. Gifts on condition of marriage are given. Contracts are negotiated and when everyone is agreeable, you consummate the marriage... or maybe before that. If something goes wrong in the midst of these negotiations, you need some serious legal help sorting out who-said-what-to-whom. If I put out money for an expensive ring and then find out that she is already engaged to three other guys and her pet cat, I should be able to get the ring back. And it works the other way too. If a young miss has given up on other suitors in order to marry me and then I skip out, she should be able to keep the ring. In order for the courts to sort out these cases, the English Parliament passes a law requiring that all marriages be licensed by the state, and that a ceremony take place or that a public announcement be made. Both parties must be 21 years of age or older, unless given permission by their parents. (Jews and Quakers are exceptions to this marriage law.) This is the first time that modern law imposes regulations rather than guidelines for marriage. [2] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... this was a popular law because after the 1750s people were worried about verbal promises not being fulfilled or being misunderstood. In fact, the first comic books appear at this time and the most popular one covers what happens when young Tom promises marriage to a fair young lass, AND she is pregnant. Then Tom's father dies so Tom comes into a considerable inheritance. Suddenly he forgets his promises and starts frequenting bordellos. It is called sequential art. It won't be called a "comic" until the 1840s. Also two of the most popular plays in the 1700s are comedies based on this idea of making promises to marry and then everything falling apart on technicalities. I have seen this theme over and over again in situational comedies where a couple is married for a long time and suddenly find out that because the preacher failed to do something correctly (fill-in-the-blank-with-some-technicality) the couple is not really married. They have a second chance to decide if they want to be married. This actually happened to my wife and me when we discovered a flaw in our marriage contract. (Yes. I married her again.) [2] [8] [9]

Oh Say Can You See?

  • James McHenry is born. He will be a surgeon during the American Revolution, an aide to General George Washington and the 3rd Secretary of War under President George Washington and President John Adams. Fort McHenry will be named after him and during the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key will write an inspirational poem about the Battle of Baltimore called the "Defence of Fort M'Henry", or better known as the Star-Spangled Banner. [2] [10]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1753, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Johnson, Paul. History of the Jews, A. Perennial Library. 0060915331. ISBN 0060915331. “Moreover, from an early date, Britain had been prepared not just to welcome and accept Jews, but to help them abroad. The first time occurred in 1745, when Maria Theresa expelled Jews from Prague; her ally, George II, protested through diplomatic channels.” 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 346-347. 
  3. Jewish Naturalization Act 1753 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 11 March 2016. “The Jewish Naturalization Act 1753 was an Act of Parliament (26 Geo. 2, c. 26) of the Parliament of Great Britain, which received royal assent on 7 July 1753 but was repealed in 1754 (27 Geo 2, c. 1) due to widespread opposition to its provisions.”
  4. American Enlightenment - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 March 2016. “The American Enlightenment is a period of intellectual ferment in the thirteen American colonies in the period 1714–1818, which led to the American Revolution, and the creation of the American Republic.”
  5. Graetz, Heinrich Hirsch. History of the Jews, from the earliest times to the present day. D. Nutt, 356-359. “Deacon Josiah Tucker, who took the part of the Jews and had defended the Naturalisation Act, was attacked by the Opposition in Parliament, in the newspapers and pamphlets, and his effigy, together with his Defence of the Jews, were burnt in Bristol. To the vexation of the more liberal-minded, the Ministry were weak enough to yield to the clamour of the populace that arose from mercantile jealousy and fanatical intolerance, and to annul their own work (1754) "because it had provoked displeasure, and the minds of many loyal subjects had been disquieted thereby." For even the most violent enemies of the law could not impute anything evil to the Jews of England ; they created a good impression upon Englishmen by their riches, which had been accumulated without usury, and by their noble bearing, and thus public opinion warmly sided with them and their claims for civil equality; and if for the moment these were nullified, yet no unfavourable result ensued.” 
  6. Steady State theory - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 March 2016. “In cosmology, the Steady State theory is an alternative to the Big Bang model of the evolution of the universe. In the steady-state theory, the density of matter in the expanding universe remains unchanged due to a continuous creation of matter, thus adhering to the perfect cosmological principle, a principle that asserts that observable universe is basically the same at any time as well as at any place.”
  7. Marriage Act 1753 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 11 March 2016. “The Marriage Act 1753, full title 'An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriage', popularly known as Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act (citation 26 Geo. II. c. 33), was the first statutory legislation in England and Wales to require a formal ceremony of marriage.”
  8. Sequential art - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 March 2016. “William Hogarth is often identified in histories of the comics form. His work, A Rake's Progress, was composed of a number of canvases, each reproduced as a print, and the eight prints together created a narrative. As printing techniques developed, due to the technological advances of the industrial revolution, magazines and newspapers were established. These publications utilized illustrations as a means of commenting on political and social issues, such illustrations becoming known as cartoons in the 1840s. Soon, artists were experimenting with establishing a sequence of images to create a narrative.”
  9. Collins, Margo (Summer 1999). "Centlivre v. Hardwicke: Susannah Centlivre's Plays and the Marriage Act of 1753". Comparative Drama (Comparative Drama) 33 (2): 179-198. http://www.austinlibrary.com:2138/stable/41153967. 
  10. Fort McHenry - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 March 2016.

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