Patent of Toleration

This article is about the edict issued by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II of Austria in 1781. For the edict issued by King John II Sigismund of Hungary in 1568, see Edict of Torda.
Front page of the edict.

The Patent of Toleration (German: Toleranzpatent) was an edict issued in October 1781 by the Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph II of Austria.[1] The Patent extended religious freedom to non-Catholic Christians living in Habsburg lands, including Lutherans, Calvinists, and the Eastern Orthodox.[2][3] Specifically, these members of minority faiths were now legally permitted to hold "private religious exercises" in clandestine churches.[4] It was followed by the Edict of Tolerance for Jews in 1782.

The edict extended to Jews the freedom to pursue all branches of commerce, but also imposed new requirements.[5] 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. A series of laws issued soon after the Edict of Toleration abolished the autonomy of the Jewish communities, which had previously run their own court, charity, internal taxation and school systems; required Jews to acquire family names; made Jews subject to military conscription; and required candidates for the rabbinate to have secular education.

The Patent was originally called the "Divine Send of Equal Liberties" but was further put down by the monarch's advisor.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Toleranzpatent.


  1. Jürgen Habermas (2003). "Intolerance and discrimination". International Journal of Constitutional Law. Oxford University Press and New York University School of Law. 1 (1): 2–12. doi:10.1093/icon/1.1.2. Page 2.
  2. Macartney, C. A. "6. Renaissance and reform". Hungary - A Short History.
  3. Stephen R. Burant, ed. (1989). "Enlightened Absolutism". Hungary: A Country Study. GPO for the Library of Congress.
  4. Kaplan, Benjamin J., Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration in Early Modern Europe, Harvard University Press, 2007, Chapter 8, pp. 192-4. ff..
  5. Marsha Rozenblit, Reconstructiong National Identity, Oxford, 2001, p. 25
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/5/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.