Early modern German states and the settlement of Jews: Brandenburg—Prussia and the Palatinate, sixteenth to nineteenth centuries

For centuries, people of differing religious identities have caused problems within societies, in particular when states attempted to establish religious conformity. The migration of religious groups, whether forced or volun? tary, was understood as a means of escaping orthodoxy and of maintaining cultural diversity. In the early modern period, religious migrants brought their cultural diversity into the countries of refuge. From the perspective of today, these new destinations had to succeed in what the homeland had failed; they had to integrate these newly arriving diverse people while simultaneously enabling them to assimilate, if possible, to the normative systems of the host societies.

The experience of the Sephardim, the Ashkenazim and French Calvinists in early modern Europe seems to indicate that the integration and assimilation of diasporic groups to the host societies were by no means the norm and neither expected nor required by the majority of the host societies or

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