Economic Life

Steven M. Lowenstein

in Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171648
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199871346 | DOI:
Economic Life

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter shows how the Jewish population pursued a very limited range of often marginal occupations within the relatively underdeveloped preindustrial economy of Germany in the 18th century. Subject to many legal restrictions, they rarely had a fixed place of business and often lived on the edge of subsistence. Although there were always some wealthy Jews, the vast majority were in difficult economic straits. Political emancipation and the Industrial Revolution helped large numbers of Jews find new economic opportunities and improve their positions substantially. Although not all Jews benefited from the rapid changes, many were able to enter the German middle class.

Keywords: German Jews; Jewish business; German middle class; traders; shopkeeping

Chapter.  6923 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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