Essay On Jewish In Colonial America

567 Words 3 Pages
Jews – Jews were one of the early settlers in the North American colonies. After the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, many sought refuge in the Netherlands. Other Jews crossed the ocean to settle in the Dutch colony in Brazil. In 1654, Portugal recaptured this colony and the Jews scattered throughout the Caribbean starting new communities. The first group of 23 Dutch Jews landed in New Amsterdam (New York) in 1654. This was the beginning of Jewish life in America. Prior to this arrival a Sephardic Jew arrived at James City, Virginia on the HMS Abigail in 1621, and the second arrival lived in Boston in 1649.
The Jews were banned from settling in an English colony or English land for 400 years, so they had to ask permission to stay in the North American colonies. Oliver Cromwell’s son, Richard, lifted this prohibition, and the founding of the first major Jewish settlement was in Newport, Rhode Island. Jewish legal rights were established, and the Jews were now allowed to become British subjects. They enjoyed political rights, and in 1740, Parliament passed the Plantation Act permitting Jews to be naturalized in the colonies. The first Jewish family settled in New Haven, Connecticut in 1772, but most Jewish emigrants settled in New York City. Russian Jews took over the abandoned farms in Connecticut, and as dairy farmers,
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The American Revolution was a turning point in American Jewish history. They committed themselves to the principles of freedom and democracy. However, they did face some prejudice nationwide from the Puritans, but the majority of the time they interacted freely with their non-Jewish neighbors. Jews in the new world were allowed to practice their religion in a non-biased environment. Jewish immigration to America from Germany and Poland continued at high rates even though Jews came from different

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