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: 01 July 2022



(p.216) XI Conclusion
European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550-1750

Jonathan Israel

Liverpool University Press

This concluding chapter assesses what the contribution of the Jews was to seventeenth-century European civilization. It is reasonably clear that the general significance of the Jews has to be assessed under two main heads — the economic and the cultural. The problem is to specify the exact nature of the Jewish role. The techniques of Jewish commerce and finance did not differ from other commerce and finance except in that a vast array of restrictions cut the Jews out of most guilds, most retail trade, and the ownership of land and buildings. The key factor which imparted a certain importance to the post-1570 Jewish role was the simultaneous penetration during the sixteenth century of both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, as well as of the Marranos living in Portugal and the Portuguese Empire, into maritime and overland long-distance transit trades linking the Levant with Italy, Poland with the Levant, Poland with Germany, and Portugal and the Portuguese Empire with northern Europe. The commercial importance gained by the Jews in the Levant and Poland, largely as a result of the previous expulsion from the West, in other words, formed the basis of the Jewish revival in Italy, Germany, Bohemia–Moravia, and the Low Countries after 1570. This entrenched position in so many crucial but distant markets proved a factor of great potency, especially in view of the close correspondence and intimate cultural contact between western Jewry and the Jews of the Levant and Poland.

Keywords:   Jews, European civilization, Jewish commerce, Jewish finance, Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardi Jews, Marranos, long-distance trade, Jewish revival

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.