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European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550-1750$
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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

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The High Point (II): Jewish Society (1650–1713)

The High Point (II): Jewish Society (1650–1713)

(p.119) VII The High Point (II): Jewish Society (1650–1713)
European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550-1750

Jonathan Israel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter addresses how the climax of the European debate over Jewish readmission came during the third quarter of the seventeenth century. For a quarter of a century, conferences, commissions, and petitions published and unpublished over whether or not to tolerate Jews, and if so on what terms, abounded from Poland to Portugal and from Hungary to Ireland. Why did the political and intellectual process of readmission culminate at this particular time? Several factors converged to intensify previous trends but what was the most crucial was the widespread backlash in Germany, following the evacuation of the Swedish, French, and other foreign garrisons at the end of the Thirty Years War. The substantial gains made by the Jews of central Europe during the conflict, of Austria and the Czech lands as well as Germany, had aroused intense opposition and controversy, so that the coming of peace was almost bound to be accompanied by a formidable reaction. The chapter then considers the Jewish population and Jewish economy during this period.

Keywords:   Jewish readmission, Jews, toleration, Germany, Thirty Years War, central Europe, central European Jews, Jewish population, Jewish economy

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