BAIL, CHARLES-JOSEPH° (1777–1827), French soldier, publicist, and civil servant. Bail was in charge of the administration of the Bonapartist kingdom of *Westphalia, and thus had close contacts with the heads of the Jewish *Consistoire there. After the fall of Napoleon, he continued to defend the basic principles of the revolution. In this spirit he published a pamphlet on "The Jews in the 19th Century or Considerations of their Civil and Political Status in Europe" (Les Juifs au XIXe siècle… Paris, 1816). He here defended the basic principles of equality, ascribing the separatist characteristics of the Jews to their depressed civil and political status. The same year, following criticism from the Catholic Romantic side, Bail published a second edition in which he imputed some of the separatist characteristics of the Jews to their religion and form of society, although in the main still defending his original thesis. Bail took part in a competition held by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres on the history of the Jews in Europe in the Middle Ages. Although unsuccessful, Bail subsequently published his work "The Situation of the Jews in France, Spain and Italy" (Etat des Juifs en France… Paris, 1823).
S. de Sacy, Lettre à MXXX, relativement à l'ouvrage intitulé: Des Juifs au 19e siècle (Paris, 1817); A.T. d'Esquiron de St. Agnan, Considérations sur l'existence civile et politique des Israélites – suivies de quelques idées sur l'ouvrage de M. Bail… et trois lettres de M. de Cologna, grand rabbin du consistoire Israélite de Paris (n.d.); Dictionnaire de Bibliographie Française, 4 (1948), S.V.; Nouvelle Biographie Universelle, 4 (1853), S.V.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.