The Divided Elite: Economics, Politics and Anglo-Jewry 1882-1917

Overview

This is a study of the Victorian Anglo-Jewish ruling elite, the 'Cousinhood', and of its economic, political, and Jewish interests. Based on a comprehensive theoretical discussion of the notion of a Jewish economic elite, and focusing on the activities of the two leading turn-of-the-century Anglo-Jewish families, the Rothschilds and the Montagus, Daniel Gutwein challenges the current monolithic image of the Cousinhood. The facade of homogeneity, built on common social and class traits, in reality masked a serious...

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Overview

This is a study of the Victorian Anglo-Jewish ruling elite, the 'Cousinhood', and of its economic, political, and Jewish interests. Based on a comprehensive theoretical discussion of the notion of a Jewish economic elite, and focusing on the activities of the two leading turn-of-the-century Anglo-Jewish families, the Rothschilds and the Montagus, Daniel Gutwein challenges the current monolithic image of the Cousinhood. The facade of homogeneity, built on common social and class traits, in reality masked a serious division among the rival factions, each with its own economic and political interests, along the same lines that divided the Victorian ruling class as a whole. These rival policies came to the fore on such issues as the absorption of the East European Jewish immigrants, communal and synagogal organization, the reaction to the expulsion of the Jews from Moscow in 1891, and the Balfour Declaration.

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Meet the Author

Daniel Gutwein is a lecturer in Modern Jewish History at the University of Haifa, Israel. He has published articles on Jewish economic and social history and Jewish socialism and nationalism.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 3
Introduction: The Divided Elite 5
I The origins of Division: Economics and Politics 51
Samuel Montagu and Samuel Montagu & Co 52
Montagu's Critique of British Economic Policy 57
Montagu's Reforms in English Monetary Policy 66
Montagu and the Politics of Depression 82
Montagu, Bimetallism and the Inner Circle 99
The Rothschilds' Business and the Inner Circle 114
Rothschild and Montagu: Politics and Party 124
Rothschild and Montagu: Social Policy 136
II The Struggle Over the Community Leadership 145
Montagu's Community Activity: The Beginnings 146
Montagu's Parliamentary Career and the Jewish Vote 158
The Struggle Begins: Immigration and Party Politics 166
Montagu's Critique of the United Synagogue 175
Montagu and the Federation of Synagogues 181
The Struggle over the Shecheta Board 193
Montagu and the United Synagogue: the Struggle expands 208
Montagu: Radicalism and Orthodoxy 219
Rothschild and the East End Scheme 224
Rothschild and the new community balance of power 232
The East End Scheme: The Struggle Renewed 243
Montagu versus Rothschild and the Old Guard 250
Montagu versus the United Synagogue: The Final Stage 271
The Leadership Struggle: Causes and Effects 288
III Interests, Solidarity and Jewish Diplomacy 307
The Rothschilds and the Moscow expulsion 310
Montagu, Rothschild and Hovevei Zion 318
Montagu, Gladstone and the Moscow Expulsion 323
Rothschild, Montagu and British Foreign Policy 325
The Rothschilds, the Montagus, and the Balfour Declaration 335
The Political Background of the Balfour Declaration 337
Edwin Montagu and the Balfour Declaration 359
Montagu and the Asquith-Lloyd George Rivalry 367
Montagu's Moderate Policy and the Balfour Declaration 371
The Montagus and the Balfour Declaration 380
The Rothschilds and the Balfour Declaration 387
Jewish Diplomacy: Economics and Politics 393
Epilogue: The Politicization of the Jewish Community 397
Notes to Introduction 413
Notes to Chapter I 419
Notes to Chapter II 435
Notes to Chapter III 455
List of Sources 473
Index 493
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