Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550-1750$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jonathan I. Israel

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774426

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774426.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

The High Point (I): The ‘Court Jews’ (1650–1713)

The High Point (I): The ‘Court Jews’ (1650–1713)

(p.101) VI The High Point (I): The ‘Court Jews’ (1650–1713)
European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550-1750

Jonathan Israel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses the age of the ‘Court Jew’ (1650–1713), which marked the zenith of Jewish influence in early modern Europe. The remarkable role of the Jews in European affairs at that time rested on the solid foundations laid during the Thirty Years War. By 1650, a scattered but socially closely intertwined élite of provisioners and financiers had emerged who were simultaneously agents of states and the effective leaders of Europe's Jewish communities. Sometimes, they showed a strong sense of commitment to one particular government, but this was, in fact, both unusual and untypical. Generally, Jewish court factors, or Hoffaktoren as they were known in Germany, lived outside the states which they served. Not infrequently, they acted for several governments at once. Most typical of all, the close collaboration and interdependence between them, interlocking with the correspondence between kehillot in different countries, made their activity more thoroughly international and specifically Jewish than the banking and contracting of later times. Assuredly, the system centred on Germany, Austria, and Holland, but it ramified far beyond these limits, exerting an appreciable influence also on affairs in Spain, Portugal, the Spanish Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Italy, England, and Ireland.

Keywords:   Court Jew, Jewish influence, early modern Europe, Jews, Jewish financiers, Jewish communities, Jewish court factors, Hoffaktoren

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.