Facing History and Yourself
Toleration Is A Relatively New Idea.
Until the 1700s, most people in Europe and the Middle East considered toleration a dangerous idea. They were convinced that the very presence of nonbelievers in a community threatened that community’s welfare. In 1657, the Netherlands startled neighboring countries by recognizing Dutch Jews as citizens. Other nations followed slowly—most did not grant citizenship to minorities until well into the 1800s.