The Economic Life of the Jews in France and Germany from the Ninth to the Fourteenth Century

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economics, society, Jews, France, Germany, Middle Ages Europe


Economics | European History | Jewish Studies | Medieval History | Regional Sociology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The study of the economic life of the Jews in the Middle Ages is a comparatively recent area of interest. Prior to the twentieth century, few historians concerned themselves with the activities of the Jews in that period. Events of this century, however, have placed continual emphasis on the Hew as a member of an ethnic race surviving the vicissitudes of time and of society. In the course of the last six decades, many theories and hypotheses have been formed concerning the origin of recent political developments and acts of violence against the Jews. In doing so scholars have reached as far back as the Middle Ages to justify their claims either for or against the Jew. If the development of modern anti-Semitism has brought about any positive result, it rests with the scholars who sought to bring to light the plight of the Jew in ages past. By searching for the roots of man's prejudice, scholars uncovered startling and exciting facts about the contributions Jews have made to society. One of these contributions lies in the field of economics, where Jews were participants in the inception of a capitalistic society.

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