Refugee “nations” and Empire-Building in the Early Modern Period

Susanne Lachenicht 1
  • 1 Universität Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
Susanne Lachenicht


This article investigates to what extent the early modern period as the Confessional, Imperial and Economic Age was also an age of tolerance, how much early modern empires depended on religious minorities willing to migrate and settle overseas, how much in the words of Jonathan Israel religious migrants were “agents and victims of empire”. 1 I will take the example of Sephardi Jews and Huguenots to analyse the agencies of persecuted religious minorities in negotiating terms and conditions for their (re-)settlement – more often than not as separate nations or at least separate communities within the ever-growing European empires.



Jonathan Israel, Diasporas Within a Diaspora: Jews, Crypto-Jews and the World of Maritime Empires, 1540–1740 (Leyden: Brill 2002), 1.

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The Journal of Early Modern Christianity (JEMC) intends to contribute to interdisciplinary, interconfessional, and comparative research on early modern Christianity. The journal bears out its interdisciplinary character by including a variety of relevant disciplines, such as church history, social history, cultural history, art history, literary history, history of ideas, history of music and archeology.