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District separated from the surrounding country by defined boundaries or set apart by a distinctive administrative and legal system. In imperial Russia from the late 18th century, the Pale of Settlement was the area in which Jews were permitted to live. By the 19th century it included all of Russian Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Crimea, Bessarabia, and most of Ukraine. It ceased to exist during World War I, when Jews in great numbers fled to the interior, and it was abolished in 1917. The English maintained a pale in Ireland until the entire island was subjugated under Elizabeth I in the 16th century.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pale, visit Britannica.com.