Antisemitism, sometimes called “the longest hatred,” has persisted in many forms for over two thousand years. Early Christian doctrine said that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. Over the last two centuries, antisemitism often rose and fell in popularity. Jewish people were made the scapegoat for natural disasters and times of hardship. A common form of antisemitism was pogroms. Pogroms were violent, usually deadly riots launched against Jews. Residents would conduct the pogroms, and they were often encouraged by the authorities. Pogroms took place throughout Europe, especially in the Russian Pale of Settlement.
Jews were often isolated from the Christian population. They were only allowed to engage in certain occupations and to live in certain areas, known as ghettos. They were also not considered true citizens of their countries. This made it easy to kick the entire Jewish population out of certain cities, which happened frequently. These restrictions were in place for centuries. Things only began to change starting in the late 18th – early 19th century in a process known as “emancipation.”