On this day, October 20, 1781, The Habsburg Monarchy approves the Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship.
The edict issued in 1781 by the Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph II of Austria. The Patent extended religious freedom to non-Catholic Christians living in Habsburg lands, including Lutherans, Calvinists, and the Greek Orthodox.
The edict extended to Jews the freedom to pursue all branches of commerce, but also imposed new requirements. Jews were required to create German-language primary schools or send their children to Christian schools (Jewish schools had previously taught children to read and write Hebrew in addition to mathematics.) The Patent also permitted Jews to attend state secondary schools. required Jews to acquire family names; made Jews subject to military conscription.
Thomas E. Keefe
Assistant Professor of Humanities,