Sephardi Diaspora

In 1492, the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon ordered the expulsion of its Jewish communities. A significant proportion went to neighbouring Portugal.  In 1497, Jews living there were forced into mass conversion, without even the option of leaving the country. Almost overnight, this created a large Converso community in Portugal which, for the most part, gradually became integrated in Christian society. Small numbers of crypto-Jewish Conversos were able to leave and settle in cities such as Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hamburg and London, and in parts of western France. Others left for the Spanish and Portuguese possessions in the Americas, hoping for more quietude there, only to find that the long arm of the Inquisition stretched across the Atlantic too.
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