Nationality on Trial: Jews, Belonging, and Legal Identity in the 19th-Century Mediterranean

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Jessica Marglin, University of Southern California
October 13, 2021

Nissim Shamama, a wealthy Jew from Tunisia, died in Italy in 1873. A decade-long legal battle ensued to determine to which state he belonged: was he an Italian citizen? A subject of the Bey of Tunis? Or was his Jewishness also his nationality? The Shamama lawsuit encourages us to think differently about the history of citizenship and state membership in both Europe and the Middle East.
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