Pale

Pale, in Irish history, that district of indefinite and varying limits around Dublin, in which English law prevailed. The term was first used in the 14th cent. to designate what had previously been called English land. Outlying districts were styled the marches, or border lands. In the time of Henry VIII the Pale extended N from Dublin to Dundalk and c.20 mi (32 km) inland from the coast. It disappeared in the ensuing years as the English control of the whole of Ireland was made effective. There was another English Pale in France, comprising Calais and the surrounding area, until 1558. In Russia the Pale designated those regions in which Jews were allowed to live. The Jewish Pale was established in 1792, when it comprised the areas annexed from Poland in the first partition. The area was extended (partly as a result of further annexations), but even within the Pale the Jewish population was subjected to many restrictions. Most of these were in force until the Russian Revolution of 1917.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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