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After Expulsion1492 and the Making of Sephardic Jewry$
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Jonathan S. Ray

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814729113

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814729113.001.0001

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Families, Networks, and the Challenge of Social Organization

Families, Networks, and the Challenge of Social Organization

(p.93) 5 Families, Networks, and the Challenge of Social Organization
After Expulsion

Jonathan Ray

NYU Press

This chapter explores the Sephardic trading networks that developed from the mid-sixteenth century onward. As the refugees of 1492 set about reestablishing local political associations, they also began to form broader interregional links with one another. Those who were integrated into these networks were bound together by shared circumstances as much as by a common religious ideology or cultural background. Indeed, the commitment of early modern Jewish and Converso merchants to an international Sephardic community was grounded in a common heritage, but also dependent upon mutual economic benefit. Moreover, the shared trauma of exile and the many obstacles faced by the refugees helped bring Sephardic merchants together. However, it never fully obliterated the competition and tensions among leading families and factions as they encountered a host of new political and economic opportunities.

Keywords:   Sephardic trading networks, interregional links, Jewish merchants, Converso merchants, international Sephardic community, Sephardic merchants

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