<p>Abstract:</p><p>During the early modern period, travelers who crossed borders were required to carry safe conducts. This article examines the use of safe conducts by Jews in the Electoral Palatinate. It examines the use of these documents by individual travelers, and discusses the extensive communal organization that developed in order to regulate the payment, sale, and distribution of these documents. This system comprised both local intracommunal as well as regional intercommunal mechanisms, and included loans, agreements, and record keeping developed as part of this system. The management of the safe conduct and the tax that was associated with it in the Electoral Palatinate highlights the complex and entwined relationship between political authorities and the Jewish community on both the local and regional levels. It also demonstrates the deep impact that paperwork had upon a minority population in early modern Europe, in both an individual and communal level.</p>
Jewish Quarterly Review – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Sep 26, 2018
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