Analysis: Why Did Edward I Expel The Jews From England

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In Middle Ages, Europe was a predominantly Christian continent, ruled by Kings and also the Church. While other religions did live amongst them, they were sometimes seen as second class citizens, or even worse. The Jews were expelled in the early summer of 1290 and were completely gone from England by October, as per the King’s orders. They left England and settled in many other European cities, often settling in small villages with their communities. The were only invited back to England by Oliver Cromwell in 1655 where they were finally able to restart their lives. The question is, Why did Edward I expel the Jews from England? Some may argue that it was completely due to religious bigotry, but our author argues otherwise. In the year 1290,…show more content…
Usury was “intolerable by Christian men,” they did not accept it (105). Even Aristotle, the famous philosopher said that, “it was essentially unnatural that money should be fruitful and multiply” (106). Aristotle believes that the idea of interest as in making money off of money is unnatural and shouldn’t be done. The Christians were disgusted by Jews taking interest, “If a man will not work, neither shall he eat,” they think you should make money to eat by physically working (106). Today we use interest but at the time of Edward I they did not use interest in business. They would do business by temporary partnerships, they all put money into project, split profits, they were very old fashioned and learnt to farm from their fathers. There were two people that are involved in usury, there was a borrower and a lender. The borrower would take money and spend it on things not related to business. The lender was viewed as an oppressor of the poor and takes advantage, he would grow riches on the misfortunes of others. The author writes for pages about how the Christians felt about Jews and their bad reputation as usurers, which is what he believes is one of the main reasons King Edward wanted to kick them out, but to argue against this point, he also tells of a story of a christian man who practiced usury, showing that it was not just the Jews who did

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