Ann Le Bar
This paper will discuss how Jews fit into the economic policies of Brandenburg-Prussia in the later 16th century. From Frederick William’s decree in 1671 to allow fifty Jewish families to settle in Brandenburg-Prussia to these families and their descendants becoming immersed in the economy of Berlin through their use in courts but more so through their trading, specifically, the ways in which they traded and how they used these to free themselves from some of the constraints of German Christian society. Thusly, this will be shown by looking at Jews in Brandenburg-Prussia in the later 17th century, Jews in Berlin, and Jews and their relations to the economic sphere of Berlin. The conclusion of this paper is that Jews in Berlin from the time of their readmission in 1671 had become a necessity for Brandenburg-Prussia in order to rebound from its destruction in the Thirty Years’ War. This can be seen in their extensive use in the courts of Brandenburg-Prussia and the taxes that were extracted from them. However, this can also be seen in the ways that Jews traded with the German Christian majority and how they were able to circumvent some aspects of the society that were used to keep them down. This has expanded on the ways in which Jews used their roles in the economic sphere of Berlin to help improve their lives and possibly of Jews in positions similar to theirs.
Vance, Conlan, "Jews: The Makers of Early Modern Berlin" (2018). 2018 Symposium. 22.
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