Fall of the berlin wall essay

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fall of the berlin wall essay

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In the middle of the 18th century jacob Henriques claimed that his father had planned the establishment of the bank of England (1694). The holy roman empire, only a few Jewish financiers, such as Joseph zum goldenen Schwan at Frankfurt or Michel *Jud , were active in the german principalities in the 16th century. In the early 17th century the hapsburgs employed the services of Jacob *Bassevi of Treuenberg of Prague, joseph Pincherle of Gorizia, and Moses and Jacob Marburger of Gradisca. The rise of the absolute monarchies in Central Europe brought numbers of Jews, mostly of Ashkenazi origin, into the position of negotiating loans for the various courts, giving rise to the phenomenon of court Jews . The most famous and most active of them in financial affairs were, in the second half of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century, Leffmann *Behrends in Hanover, Behrend *Lehmann . Later diego d' Aguilar , and the Arnstein and Eskeles families became prominent. In the early 18th century Joseph suess *Oppenheimer was the outstanding figure in southern Germany; his financial influence was widespread, especially in wuerttemberg, until his fall and execution in 1738. Important court bankers around the end of the 18th century were Israel *Jacobson in Brunswick, the Bleichroeder family.

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Most famous in Antwerp were diego teixeira de sampaio ( Abraham *Senior consul and paymaster general for the Spanish government, and his son Manuel (Isaac ayyim Senior who succeeded him as financial agent of Christina of Sweden. Manuel teixeira was an outstanding member of the hamburg exchange and participated actively in the transfer of Western European subsidies to the german or Scandinavian courts. At Amsterdam at first only a few Jews were shareholders in the bank founded in 1609 and of the east India company. One hundred and six Portuguese had accounts in 1620. Generally their resources were not sufficiently great to add any special weight to the formative stage of Amsterdam capitalism. Through Holland's developing overseas trade, especially with Brazil (until 1654) and then with the west Indies, as well as through the growth of the Amsterdam capital market and the transfer of subsidies and provisioning of armies through Amsterdam, jewish financiers rose to importance in the. Outstanding were the pinto family and Antonio (Isaac) Lopez suasso (Baron d'avernas le Gras nevertheless the wealth of the sephardi families remained far below that of their Christian counterparts. In the second half of the 18th century the pinto family remained prominent, and another influential financier of Sephardi origin was david summary bueno de mesquita . Partly as a consequence of the marriage between Charles ii of England and Catherine of Braganza (1662 and especially after William and Mary became joint sovereigns of England (1689 london, too, became a center of Sephardi banking, leading figures being Anthony (Moses) da costa, . In the reign of queen Anne (170214 Manasseh *Lopes was a leading banker; during the 18th century Samson *Gideon , francis and Joseph *Salvador .

Jewish money-changers and tax farmers were to be found in many places of the Ottoman Empire. After the union between Spain and Portugal (1580 a number of influential Conversos took the opportunity to invest their capital in financing the various ventures of the crown, provisioning the army in Flanders and in the east Indies, and supplying contracts for Africa. Their activities expanded especially after the financial crisis of 1626 and continued until the portuguese revolt of 1640 which restored independent sovereignty to the country. After this all members of the gente de nação (as Conversos were called) living in Spain became suspect. The last important financial venture by new Christians in Portugal was the financing of the Brazil Company established in 1649. However, jewish involvement in banking proper really begins with the activities of those conversos who, fleeing the Inquisition in Portugal and Spain, settled in Antwerp , hamburg , and Amsterdam , some remaining nominally Christian and. In Antwerp the ximenes and Rodrigues d'evora families were outstanding among an important group of merchant bankers who had commercial friendship relations extending as far as the east Indies and Brazil. While they remained Catholics (like the mendes de Brito group in Portugal those who emigrated to hamburg and Amsterdam formed Sephardi communities. In Hamburg they participated in the founding of the bank in 1619; 30 (by 1623, 46) local Jews were among its first shareholders, and some of them were financial agents for various North European courts, especially those of Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein.

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Even Isabella the catholic depended on the financial advice of the Jew Abraham *Senior , from 1476 chief tax gatherer in Castile, and and Isaac *Abrabanel , who after having been banker. The converso luis de *Santangel , chancellor and comptroller of the royal household and great-grandson of the jew noah Chinillo, loaned Isabella money to finance columbus' expedition to America. Though some men like isaac Abrabanel, who went to naples, remained faithful to judaism, a number of Jews of Spanish origin stayed in Portugal and, after accepting baptism, rose to financial influence there, especially in combination with the east Indian spice trade. Prominent among them were Francisco and diogo *Mendes . The latter, who took up residence in Antwerp, became one of the most important merchant bankers there, lending money to the king of Portugal, the emperor, and Henry viii of England. The firm "Herdeiros de Francisco e diogo mendes" was administered for some time after diogo's death (1543) by Francisco's widow, doña beatrice de luna ( Gracia *Nasi ) and her nephew joão miques ( . They subsequently immigrated to turkey, where the latter combined commercial and banking activity with political influence. Another to rise to high position was Alvaro mendes from tavira, portugal, who in Constantinople took the name Solomon *Abenaes .

Though during the 14th century the jews in Aragon and navarre were subjected to increasing pressures, judah ha-levi and Abraham Aben-Josef of Estella were general farmers of the rents under Charles ii and Charles iii of navarre. In Castile in spite of the cortes' opposition jews such as the Abrabanel family in seville continued to be active as almoxarifes. The young Alfonso xi appointed Joseph de *Écija as his almoxarife mayor (c. 1322 pedro the Cruel (135069) made Samuel. Meir ha-levi *Abulafia of Toledo, known as the richest Jew of his time, his chief treasurer, and Henry of Trastamara had Joseph *Picho as his financial officer ( contador mayor ) despite his. The conversos, the persecutions of 1391 and the mass conversions which followed brought an important change. Some of the conversos were able to use the act of baptism to climb to high positions in the financial administration: examples are luis de la *cavalleria , chief treasurer under John ii of Aragon, luis *Sánchez, royal. 1490 and his brother Gabriel *Sánchez , who was treasurer-general. Under Henry iv of Castile (145474) diego Arias de avila was the king's secretary and auditor of the royal accounts; in spite of diego's unpopularity his son Pedro succeeded him.

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fall of the berlin wall essay

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The Iberian Peninsula after the Christian reconquest offers many examples of large-scale credit activities and tax farming by jews. It is known that they provided money for armaments against the moors. El Cid borrowed from Raquel and Vidas, jews of Burgos, for his expedition against Valencia. King Alfonso vi of Castile (10721109) also obtained loans from Jews for his military expeditions. His successors employed Jews in the financial essays administration, especially as almoxarifes (revenue collectors an activity combined with moneylending. Thus, judah Ibn Ezra was in the service of Alfonso vii, joseph Ibn Shoshan of Alfonso viii, and Solomon *Ibn Zadok (Don Çulema) and his son Çag de la maleha were almoxarifes in the service of Alfonso. When Sancho iv (125895) came to the throne, abraham el-Barchilon was prominent in the financial administration, supervising the farming of the taxes.

Generally, in Castile the jews abstained from farming the direct taxes, which from 1288 the cortes opposed. The jews therefore tended to prefer the administration of the customs and other rights belonging to the office of almoxarife. The court of Aragon relied on Jewish financial administrators in a similar fashion. King James i employed Benveniste de porta as a banker, probably giving him as security for his advances the office of bailiff of Barcelona and Gerona. Judah de la *cavalleria , the most powerful Jew in the Aragonese administration, had control over all the bailiffs of the kingdom. Under Pedro iii the family of ravaya were most influential.

The liquidation of Jewish debts by king Wenceslaus iv of Bohemia around the end of the 14th century is a well-known example of such royal rapacity. With these and other measures and the rise of the merchant class, who gradually took over the function of loan-bankers to the princes and even to emperors during the 15th and early 16th centuries, the jews were deprived of imperial protection and forced to leave. They retired to the small seigneuries or migrated to eastern Europe, where a less-developed economy offered them possibilities of making a livelihood. In Bohemia, hungary, and in Poland and Lithuania both princes and nobility made use of their financial help. As the eastern European kingdoms developed with the colonization of the forests, jews played an increasing part in commerce and especially in the arenda. In the larger towns some engaged in moneylending and banking activities.


In 12th-century France moneylending was an important Jewish business, but in the 13th century jewish lenders came up against the superior competition of the lombards, a rivalry even more intense in the netherlands. In England, where aaron of Lincoln and Aaron of York were powerful bankers, a special Exchequer of the jews was set up to centralize jewish transactions. However in the 13th century the crown began to rely on the greater resources of the cahorsins and Italian bankers and in 1290 the jews were expelled. In Italy jewish bankers could expand their sphere of activity under the silent protection of the popes, despite resistance on the part of the Christian burghers (see popes and the jews). From the second half of the 13th century they spread throughout central Italy and gradually expanded toward the north, migrating at first to the smaller and medium-sized towns. In Pisa and then in Florence the da *Pisa family became important loan-bankers; in Florence in 1437 Cosimo de' medici permitted a jewish group to establish four loan-banks; in Venice in 1366 Jews, probably of German origin. Here as in other places in northern Italy, jewish loan-bankers from the south came into competition with Jews migrating from Germany or southern France. Finally only a few towns, such as Milan and Genoa, refused to admit Jewish loan-bankers. However, their activities were seriously challenged when the anti-jewish preaching of the Franciscans resulted in the establishment of branches of the monti di pietà toward the middle of the 15th century.

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Moneychanging and lab coinage privileges were often combined with moneylending, and Jews were frequently the sole agents arranging loans. From the first half of the 12th century moneychanging as a special form of banking is supported by documentary evidence. To spread the risk, partnerships of between two and ten persons were formed. As security, custom at first recognized mainly pledges, but from the middle of the 13th century the letter of credit came into use, though princess till preferred to pledge jewels. Often, instead of a pawn, bail was given by several persons. In western Germany hypothecation of real estate was preferred, and in this way jews acquired in pledge houses, vineyards, farms, villages, castles, towns, and even seigneuries. Interest rates do not seem to have exceeded 36 but in the case of deferred payment they could rise to 100 or beyond. From the 12th century popes and princes exploited the financial capacity of the jews by frequent remission of debts or forced loans. The Black death and consequent persecutions of Jews gave rulers an opportunity forcibly to seize property and to restore pawns and letters of credit to debtors.

fall of the berlin wall essay

Jews from siegburg, Trier, mainz, speyer, Strasbourg, and Basle as well as from Ulm and Nuremberg appear as sources of credit. The most important banking transaction in the oedipus first half of the 14th century went through the hands of vivelin the red, who transmitted 61,000 florins in gold which King Edward iii of England paid to baldwin of Trier for becoming allied with him against France. Margrave rudolf iii of Baden was indebted to david the Elder, called Watch, and to jekelin of Strasbourg and his partners. Muskin and Jacob Daniels served the archbishop of Trier in the administration of his finances; during the first half of the 14th century, daniels was probably the most important Jewish banker of the Rhineland. He was followed in the service of the archbishop by his son-in-law Michael. At the same time Abraham von Kreuznach at Bingen had a similar position with the archbishop of mainz. Gottschalk von Recklinghausen and his company was another group on the lower Rhine. Such banking activity is recorded in other parts of Central Europe as far as Silesia.

essentially Christian nature of the rising city communes combined with this insecurity to drive out the jews from commerce and prohibit them from engaging in crafts. In France, england (up to 1290 germany, austria, bohemia, moravia, and northern and central Italy, jews had to turn to loan-banking on a larger or smaller scale in order to make a living. The canonical prohibition against taking interest by Christians, which was stressed in successive church councils (especially the fourth Lateran council of 1215 and the vast opportunities for capital investment in land and sea trade open to the wealthy Christian made lending. By the 13th century the notion that the. Wucherer usurer was a jew was already current, for example, in the writings of Berthold of Regensburg , walther von der Vogelweide, and Ulrich von Lichtenstein. The word judaizare became identical with "taking interest." Testimony from the 12th century shows that moneylending was then becoming the main occupation of the jews; this was the case of those of Bacharach (1146) and of muenzenberg (1188). However, there is little data to suggest that Jewish banking transactions were on a large scale even in the 13th century, but there is evidence that the bishop of Basle had debts with Basle jews and that various monasteries had Jewish creditors. The transition from a natural economy to a money economy in the course of the "commercial revolution and the stabilization of territorial principalities opened new possibilities for Jewish banking activity, especially in the Rhineland and in southern Germany.

The responsa of this period show a highly developed money economy existing before the first and Second Crusades. Early merchants in europe, persecution, such as occurred in Alexandria in 414 or the oppressive measures promulgated in the byzantine Empire beginning with Constantine and intensified under Justinian , may have contributed to the fact that from the. With the disappearance of the syrians and Greeks from Europe in the seventh century, the jewish merchants were able to expand. Within the administration of the merovingian kings (from 481) Jews possibly farmed taxes or advanced money on revenues to high officials; according to Gregory of tours (c. 53894 the count of tours and his vicar were indebted to the jew Armentarius. During the carolingian period (from the mid-eighth century jews settled in the Rhineland again as they had done during the roman Empire some of them lending money on pledges or giving money to merchants in a kind of commenda partnership. Archbishop Anno of Cologne (d. 1075 as well as Emperor Henry iv (10561106 borrowed money from Jews.

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The caliphate, with the rapid development of city life and resume commerce in the caliphate of Baghdad from the late eighth century and the transition of the majority of Jews under caliphate rule from agriculture and a village environment to the cities. Jahbadhiyya, as it was called, was a form of banking based on the savings and economic activities of the whole jewish merchant class and not only on the fortunes of the very rich: the bankers loaned to the state and its officers money deposited with. The vast sums at the disposal of these jewish bankers and their relative immunity from confiscation by the autocratic authorities both tend to confirm that these jewish "court bankers" from the beginning of the tenth century onward were well-known to their Muslim debtors. Under the fatimid caliph al-Mustanṣir the brothers Abu sad al-Tustarī and Abu naṣr esed. Sahl al-Tustarī (both died in 1048) were influential in the finances of Egypt. With the rise of Saladin and the foundation of the ayyubid dynasty in Egypt (1169 the position of the jews deteriorated but they were able to continue their moneychanging activities at least. Toward the end of the mamluk period (1517 samuel, a moneychanger in cairo, must have possessed considerable wealth, for the Arab chronicler Ibn iyās tells that the sultan extorted from him more than 500,000 dinars. During the muslim rule on the Iberian peninsula, córdoba jews were active in the financial administration in the tenth and eleventh centuries.


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