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The Promise and Peril of CreditWhat a Forgotten Legend about Jews and Finance Tells Us about the Making of European Commercial Society$
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Francesca Trivellato

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691178592

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691178592.001.0001

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Coda

Coda

Chapter:
(p.216) Coda
Source:
The Promise and Peril of Credit
Author(s):

Francesca Trivellato

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691178592.003.0010

This coda argues that from the 1650s to the 1910s, the legend of the Jewish invention of bills of exchange absorbed and at the same time transformed conceptions of Jewish usury that had emerged in the thirteenth century. Resilient as those conceptions proved to be across time, they also evolved and adapted in response to new realities and competing discursive traditions. In fact, the legend analyzed here served multiple, sometimes even conflicting, agendas. By mapping the routes of its transmission, this book has shown why this tale became a powerful tool for debating and policing the boundaries of European commercial society and why it planted deeper roots in France than in the rest of Old Regime Europe. The chapter then considers the legend's disappearance, which was to be expected since people no longer use bills of exchange.

Keywords:   bills of exchange, Jewish usury, European commercial society, Old Regime Europe, Jews

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