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Amsterdam, The forbidden lands, and the dynamics of the Sephardi diaspora

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Chapter Summary

The Western Sephardi Diaspora was established by New Christians from Spain and Portugal who abandoned Iberia in order to affiliate with Judaism. For many years Iberian marranos in partnership with Sephardi Jews played a central role in the commercial ties between the Iberian Peninsula and northwestern Europe in general, and the Dutch Republic in particular. Between 1609 and 1621, during the armistice between Spain and the Dutch Republic, Amsterdam and Rotterdam took the lead in commerce with the Iberian Peninsula. In the early 1640s many members of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Nation were encouraged to strengthen their economic ties to the Lusitanian kingdom. The political and economic ties between Spain and the Dutch Republic grew stronger, and the Jewish merchants exploited their experience to fortify their position within the new commercial order.

Keywords: Amsterdam; Dutch Republic; Iberia; Judaism; Spain; Western Sephardi Diaspora



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