In the midst of the Damascus Affair, another diplomatic case involving the government of Adolphe Thiers and the rights of Jews was unfolding, unknown to the public. In June 1840 the government of the Papal States attempted to seize the newborn daughter of a French Jewish couple in Rome on the grounds that she had been secretly baptized and thus could not be allowed to remain with her Jewish parents. In contrast to the Damascus case, in which the French prime minister defended the prosecution of the Jews for ritual murder, in the Montel case Thiers took an aggressive stand against the Vatican and in favor of the Jews. The development and denouement of the Montel case, based both on French diplomatic correspondence and on previously secret Vatican documents, are examined, and the light that the case sheds on Thiers and on French diplomatic policy is discussed.


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pp. 265-293
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2004
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