Trade and exchange of ideas with neighbouring nations is one of the means by which civilizations advance and evolve. This happened widely among the ancient peoples living in lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea, as well as in India, China and other Southeast Asian nations.
The idea of Freedom and Freedom from Religious persecution may have been cultivated and promoted by Piarates:
Edward Kritzler tells the tale of an unlikely group of swashbuckling Jews who ransacked the high seas in the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition. At the end of the fifteenth century, many Jews had to flee Spain and Portugal. The most adventurous among them took to the seas as freewheeling outlaws. In ships bearing names such as the Prophet Samuel, Queen Esther, and Shield of Abraham, they attacked and plundered the Spanish fleet while forming alliances with other European powers to ensure the safety of Jews living in hiding. Filled with high-sea adventures–including encounters with Captain Morgan and other legendary pirates–Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean reveals a hidden chapter in Jewish history as well as the cruelty, terror, and greed that flourished during the Age of Discovery.
Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean: How a Generation of Swashbuckling Jews Carved Out an Empire in the New World in Their Quest for Treasure, Religious Freedom–and Revenge Paperback– November 3, 2009
Forced baptism was contrary to the law of the Catholic Church, and theoretically anybody who had been forcibly baptized could legally return to Judaism. Legal definitions of the time theoretically acknowledged that a forced baptism was not a valid sacrament, but confined this to cases where it was literally administered by physical force: a person who had consented to baptism under threat of death or serious injury was still regarded as a voluntary convert, and accordingly forbidden to revert to Judaism. After the public violence, many of the converted “felt it safer to remain in their new religion.” Thus, after 1391, a new social group appeared and were referred to as conversos or New Christians. Many conversos, now freed from the anti-Semitic restrictions imposed on Jewish employment, attained important positions in fifteenth century Spain, including positions in the government and in the Church. Among many others, physicians Andrés Laguna and Francisco Lopez Villalobos (Ferdinand’s court physician), writers Juan del Enzina, Juan de Mena, Diego de Valera and Alonso de Palencia, and
bankers Luis de Santangel and Gabriel Sanchez (who financed the voyage of Christopher Columbus)
were all conversos. Conversos – not without opposition – managed to attain high positions in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, at times becoming severe detractors of Judaism. Some even received titles of nobility, and as a result, during the following century some works attempted to demonstrate that virtually all of the nobles of Spain were descended from Israelites.