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The Panama Affair: Financial Scandal, Political Corruption and the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism in 19th-Century France
November 28, 2023 @ 6:15 pmFree
The French anti-Semitic movement of the 1890s- typically associated with the Dreyfus affair- was in fact launched by a different scandal. In the 1892-93 Panama scandal, the anti-Semitic movement first coalesced over a broadly shared outrage about a corrupt foreign investment scheme in which hundreds of thousands of ordinary investors lost their fortunes. Seeing the scandal as revealing Jews’ nefarious control of France’s democratic institutions, anti-Semitic leaders channeled the populist impulse in France into a politically potent kind of anti-Jewish xenophobia. This presentation looks anew at the affair as a formative moment in the history of anti-Semitism, and provides a new perspective on anti-Semitic movements’ critique of liberal democracy, capitalism, and globalization.
Located in the Rachel Mellon Walton Room in Posner Hall (First Floor), Carnegie Mellon University