Heterogeneity and Exchange: Safe-Conducts in Medieval Spain

28 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2010 Last revised: 8 Jan 2014

See all articles by Daniel J. Smith

Daniel J. Smith

Middle Tennessee State University - Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: December 20, 2013

Abstract

During a time when religious animosities were reaching their peak in Medieval Europe leading up to the violent crusades, Christians, Jews, and Muslims residing in close proximity in Medieval Spain experienced a period of relative peace, prosperity, and cultural exchange. This historical episode, referred to as La Convivencia, or the coexistence, is a puzzle to many period historians. This paper argues that this anomalistic period arose due to the emergence of commerce, which generated cooperation and mitigated conflict among these heterogeneous groups, à la the Doux-Commerce Thesis of the Scottish Enlightenment. Commercial exchange between Christians, Jews, and Muslims was established through the use of safe-conducts, a promise of protection sold to foreign merchants. This paper details the operation of safe-conducts and the civilizing role that commerce played among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Medieval Spain.

Keywords: violence, social distance, institutions, Doux-Commerce Thesis

JEL Classification: K40, P48

Suggested Citation

Smith, Daniel J., Heterogeneity and Exchange: Safe-Conducts in Medieval Spain (December 20, 2013). Review of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1700704 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1700704

Daniel J. Smith (Contact Author)

Middle Tennessee State University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

MTSU Box 27
1301 E. Main St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37132-0001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.danieljosephsmith.com/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
198
rank
144,529
Abstract Views
1,104
PlumX Metrics