This Paper explores John Commons's views toward Jews in order to assess whether his published writings contain assertions that today would be stigmatised as anti-Semitic. The evidence we provide shows that Commons's racial characterisation of Jews was framed within a broad and indiscriminate xenophobic framework. Within other leading Progressive Era sociel scientists, in fact, Commons shared the idea that new immigration from eastern and southern Europe would increase competition in the labour market, drive the wage down, and lead Anglo-Saxon men and women to have fewer children, since they would not want to compete with those who survive on less. Within this general xenophobic context, Commons developed assertions regarding immigrant Jews that show traces of explicit anti-Semitic accusations.
- Commons J. R