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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 16 June 2021

Decline and Renewal (1713–1750)

Decline and Renewal (1713–1750)

Chapter:
(p.195) X Decline and Renewal (1713–1750)
Source:
European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550-1750
Author(s):

Jonathan Israel

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774426.003.0011

This chapter explains that the period 1713–50 was one of sharp deterioration in European Jewry's demographic position. It is true that a steady increase persisted in many parts, but, from the second decade of the eighteenth century onwards, the population of Europe as a whole began to burgeon once more so that, other than in the eastern territories of Poland, Jewish population growth now lagged well behind that of the rest. Moreover, and a more immediately relevant factor in the economic and cultural decline of European Jewry during the eighteenth century, practically all the leading Jewish urban centres displayed a marked incapacity for growth. Previously, from 1570 down to 1713, the economic policies of the European states, concentrating on the promotion of long-distance commerce, had encouraged the increasing integration of the Jewish trade network into the European economy as a whole, and this had laid the basis for the revival of Jewish life in progress in central and western Europe since the late sixteenth century. After 1713, however, a less favourable trend set in. Whilst the European states were still ruled by mercantilist notions, they now adopted more comprehensively protectionist policies, concentrating on the promotion of manufacturing activity rather than long-distance trade.

Keywords:   European Jewry, Jewish population, Jewish urban centres, Jewish trade network, European economy, Jewish life, mercantilism, protectionist policies, manufacturing, long-distance trade

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