Before we talk about the effects the Second Central Bank had on the United States and the rest of the world, we turn our attention back to Europe and focus on the Money Changing families that existed and influenced society during the early 19th century.
We left off Europe discussing the Money Changers inside the continent including Mayer Rothschild's death in 1812. However, before Mayer died, he created a plan to produce substantial wealth that would last until time ran out on Earth. Through the support of inbreeding, malicious strategies, royal connections, luck, and a guanine disregard for the wellbeing of human life; Mayer Rothschild would go on to create one of the greatest banking dynasties the world has ever seen. Before he died, he ordered his five male kins to depart to five different corners of Europe to begin the rise of a banking dynasty. Amschel managed the Frankfurt branch in Germany. Salomon went to Vienna, Austria. Carl went to Naples, Italy. James went to Paris, France and Nathan went to London, England. Now we will dive into the stories of Mayer’s 5 sons.
In addition, to be born with enormous wealth, Mayer Rothchild’s sons had the immense luck of growing up during one of the most important revolutions in human history. Not a revolution of war, but a revolution of industry. During the 1820s large portions of the population remained on farms working just to survive. New technology was paving the way for modernization in the economy and forced agrarian economies to turn into manufacturing economies or get left behind. As technology began to take over, more farms began to have tractors, plows and other innovations and the labor of the lower and middle classes who didn’t own property would be rendered irrelevant
With the innovations that were sweeping across the globe, less time and fewer workers were required to accomplish the same amount of production because of automation and modernization and widespread unemployment began to plague world economies. As a result, with nothing but the clothes on their back, chunks of the workforce moved from the countryside into cities in search of work in the newly constructed manufacturing plants, office buildings, and factories.
The Rothschilds understood this and planned on taking full advantage of the free labor that machines provide and the cheap labor from the uneducated who ran those machines.
Amschel Mayer Rothschild
Born in Frankfurt inside of the Holy Roman Empire in 1773, Amschel was the eldest son of Mayer Rothschild and perhaps the least significant. Amschel was forced into his father’s business as soon as he could comprehend finance. By the time he was twelve, he began learning, traveling, and trading on behalf of the Rothschilds to increase his knowledge, personal wealth, and family’s influence across the growing economy of Europe.
In 1812, Amschel inherited his father’s branch in Frankfurt and a portion of his wealth along with his brothers, making him one of the richest individuals in Europe. When Amschel turned 41, toward the end of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, he went to Berlin in the Germanic states to work with Austria and facilitate grants and loans that were being made to Emperor Francis to fight against Napoleon and France. Throughout Amschel’s life, he unsuccessfully attempted to have kids with his wife Eva Hanau and after his death, his fortune was passed to his brother’s children. He held many honors with Prussia and Austria because of his financial assistance during the French Revolution and other European conflicts.
Salomon Mayer Rothschild
Like his older brother, Salomon was born in Frankfurt and quickly became accommodated to the business lifestyle his father forced him into. As mentioned before, incest was an important strategy to the Rothschild family's success and as a result, Salomon had two children who he pushed to reproduce within the family. His son, Anselm Salomon Rothschild, married his cousin in 1826 and his daughter married his brother James Baron Rothschild.
In 1820, Salomon was sent to Austria Empire by his Father to officially create his banking business, ‘S. M. von Rothschild’, in the vast kingdom under the governmental protection of Emperor Francis. He would set up shop in Vienna, the capital of the country and the center of culture, art, and more. In Vienna, largely influential figures emerged around Salomon Rothschilds time such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven who are among the most famous musicians and composers in human history and are still popular and listened to today.
With his newly formed company, Salomon began connecting with some of the highest aristocrats inside of the Germanic States, Austria, and Prussia by loaning out money and financing large infrastructure projects that would be vital to each country’s economic success. Among some of the aristocrats, Salomon found himself connected to was Friedrich Gentz and Klemens Metternich. Gentz was one of the most ruthless writers during his time and used newspapers and journals to skew the public to follow his opinion with delicately placed rhetoric. Metternich was an Austrian politician and foreign minister who served under Emperor Francis and Emperor Ferdinand.
One of which was the Nordbam Steam Engine train system that would run throughout Austria, which was the first steam engine system inside of Austria and began operations in 1839. Where he financed Emperor Ferdinand of Austria, who was Francis’s son, and thousands of hours of labor from the poor. These pieces of infrastructure became extremely vital to economies and acted as the main artery in Europe that delivered raw materials and finished products to their destinations at high speed. The railway was very useful and entered into modern-day Poland where one of the first goals was to transport minerals from salt mines near and inside Bochnia. This was a major success, and as a result, Salomon earned tremendous returns on his investments.
Salomon had an incredible impact on Austrian society and economy by financing projects and loaning out large sums of money to government officials and tyrants. After doing so he was honored with additional special treatment, networking, and privilege. However, after economic imbalance and political distrust throughout Europe, Salomon found himself in the middle of the largest series of rebellions the continent had ever seen during the Revolutions of 1848 that occurred throughout multiple nations in Europe, and even a Rothschild couldn’t escape the power of the people, which we will discuss later.
Like his brothers, Carl was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and trained fiercely with his father from a young age in the profession of banking and Money Changing.
Carl was more of a homebody and did not leave Frankfurt to pursue business until he was 33 years old. When he did leave in 1821, he departed for Naples in present-day Italy, when the territory was then controlled by the Austrian Empire with the financial assistance from Carl’s brother Salomon. With this shelter, Carl created C M de Rothschild & Figli where he would be granted the ability to lend out money for nobles in governments and finance large infrastructure projects for the wealthy in the private sector. While in Naples, he made important connections with the finance minister of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Luigi de' Medici, which united the self-sovereign nations of Sicily and Naples, until direct control of the Austrian Empire in 1821.
Carl’s banking business began to flourish and became the centerpiece of finance in the region because of the relationships with the wealthy, financial backing from his brothers, and the military-grade protection from several monarchies. This financial supremacy in the area furthered Rothschild’s ability to have large advantages over other financial competitors and Carl continued to corner the market for Money Changing. Consequently, Carl’s firm began to achieve large profits and accumulative massive wealth, while steering clear of the poverty and rebellions that were occurring across Europe as a direct result of the families' financial schemes.
After spending some time in France, Carl was introduced to a Bourbon King in 1829 that would allow Carl to have financial control over the area. As a result, Carl’s bank was able to gain influential and wealthy clients such as the Vatican, the Dukes of Parma and the Dukes of Tuscany (http://www.bornpower.de/roth4.htm#.Yjp8-PWyJD9). With these clients, Carl could directly influence their viewpoints and actions by controlling their purse. Carl continued to grow his wealth and have future kings, nobles and wealthy businessmen visit him in Naples. On one occasion, in a ceremony that featured the Roman Catholic Pope, instead of kneeling to kiss the Pope's foot, which was normal practice, Carl kissed the Pope's hand. This action caused uproar in the religious community because of Carl’s Jewish religion, but more importantly, the Pope was accommodating the wealthy banker because of the influence the Rothschilds had with the success of the church.
In 1855, Carl Rothschild died and less than five years later the branch in Naples was shut down and the assets were moved to the Frankfurt branch to continue the banking dynasty for the Rothschilds and Carl’s three surviving sons. His sons Adolf, Wilhelm and Mayer Carl went on to help manage the assets in the Frankfurt branch were the assets returned shortly after their father’s death.
James Mayer Rothschild
James was born in 1792 in the Holy Roman Empire and was the youngest child of Mayer Rothschild. After he learned the techniques of Money changing, banking, and manipulation from his father and brothers, he would move to Paris in 1812 to create a subsidiary of the Rothschild’s Frankfurt branch in another corner of the continent and would go on to serve as one of the most influential heirs of the Rothschild dynasty. The reason James was moved to France was because his brother Nathan Rothschild, James’ brother who we will talk about next, was already in London, England and needed help orchestrating the trading of gold. The Rothschilds were attempting to hoard the gold, silver, and all of the money in circulation to the best of their ability from the lower and middle classes of the United Kingdom.
The Rothschilds were successful in their plan, and the economic damage dealt to the French was a harsh blow to their progress under the revolution led by Napoleon. Furthermore, James and Nathan Rothschild were the largest financers of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington. Duke Wellington was a political and military powerhouse of the English and dealt the lethal blow to Napoleon's army in the Battle of Waterloo (where Nathan Rothschild predicted the outcome and to gained large financial gain from betting on bonds). Duke Wellington worked his way up to Commander and Chief of the British Military and even shortly served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. With James and Nathan’s financial relationship with Duke Wellington and the defeat of Napoleon, which included the reinstatement of the monarchy, the Rothschilds had free-reign to run out their competitors, loan money out of nothing while charging interest, finance the largest and most important infrastructure projects in Europe and hoard all the wealth the family could get their hands on.
Throughout the years, James was able to become an advisor to French Kings, nobles, and aristocrats which allowed him to gain substantial wealth and influence. In addition to becoming financial consultants to the most important people in France, James began investing in some of the most important commercial projects that were quickly developing during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. Some of the other ways James increased his wealth and influence, besides loaning out money that didn’t exist to government officials; who would punish people who didn’t abide by the rules and hoarding the gold of various European nations, was by investing in railroads, mining businesses, military equipment, and trading tea, wines, horses, art and more.
Another French Revolution occurred in 1830, commonly known as the July Revolution, and James Rothschild was patiently waiting to take advantage of the catastrophe in the society and economy. It’s safe to say that Europe was not very peaceful or diplomatic during the years following Napoleon's fall in France. Monarchs, now sensing no pressure to manage the needs of their citizens were able to extend their wealth and create unjust laws. The major powers running Europe after Napoleons fall was a combination of the old and large empires we previously saw. Austria was represented by Prince Metternich, the same royal connection that Salomon had made himself upon arrival to Austria and King Frederick William III who Salomon had also been lending money out to were two of the largest belligerents. The United Kingdom, which was under Nathan Rothchild’s control (Next Rothschild we discuss), and Russia which was still run by Emperor Alexander I were also largely involved in the conflict.
In France, the King Louis XVIII was reinstated into power and slowly began the degrading treatment of his people. After he died childless in 1826, a power vacuum erupted that caused his brother to quickly instate his spot on the throne. However, his kingship was not welcomed by the French people and after being in power for less than a year the citizens began to shift their mood toward their new government leader. After years of attempting to negotiate, the crown and people were unable to come to an agreement and the July Revolution began in 1830.
The war certain wasn’t drawn over many years as the previous battles were, in fact, the conflict only 3 days. The final results were a simple change in kings and political parties, and no real change in government or economic structure took place. Nonetheless, James was able to take advantage of the desperate situation. Within 4 years of the new monarchy taking place after King Louis’ death, James Rothschild had facilitated two huge loans to King Louis Philippe I of France after he took power in 1830 to attempt to stabilize the French economy. In response, King Phillipe granted James Rothschild the honor of ‘Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour’, which was an award originally established in France by Napoleon Bonaparte and is still used today.
James Rothschild was able to freely facilitate the development of the new French government and economy for the next 18 years until the revolutions of 1848 took place when the people across Europe were fed up with their treatment. The widespread revolts across Europe did slow down the growth of his business, but after some reconciliation and consolidation, when James Rothschild died when he was 76 in 1868, he was able to pass down his enormous wealth to his heirs and the Rothschild financial empire was able to continue.
Château de Ferrières
One of James Rothschilds homes, the home was passed through the family until Guy Rothschild donated it to the University of Paris in 1975.
By Mulleimers at German Wikipedia - Originally from de.wikipedia; https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2083557
James Rothschilds home. The home was passed down to the family until it was seized by Germany in World War II, then used by American Military. It was sold to a Saudi Prince in 1986 and sold again in 2020 to begin restoration.
Hôtel de Talleyrand
Another James Rothschild home he acquired in 1838. It was passed down through the family until it was sold to the United States in 1950 to be used as the American Embassy inside of France.
Nathan Rothschild was the middle child of Mayer Rothschild and went on to be the most influential son in the banking and financial industry. Like his other brothers, he was born in Frankfurt during the reign of the Holy Roman Empire in 1777 and quickly elevated to become one of the most prominent and respected bankers in all of Europe. When Nathan was 21, he was sent to the financial district in London England to further the interests of the Rothschild banking family.
In London, Nathan gained immediate prominence through his connections from his family and attitude toward finance. Upon settling in England, the Rothschilds understood the needs of humans across Europe and without delay Nathan created a textile business where he began producing cloth and fabric for people across the Country. Nathan began intensifying and accelerating his business presence and also began Money Changing. By using his name and his families supply of money, Nathan loaned out massive amount of wealth to affluent businessmen and government officials, charging them high-interest rates because they cornered the market on gold and money.
Rothschild would continue these practices until 1809 when he got involved with the Napoleonic wars that most of Europe found themselves in. The French Revolution served to be one of the most successful events in Nathan’s lifetime because of the constant funding he provided to the many different monarchies involved in the battle. After coming to an agreement with the British government, Nathan Rothschild was able to fund Duke Wellington’s campaign for over 5 years during the height of the conflict. Furthermore, the Rothschilds were able to extend money to Austria and Prussia during their military campaigns, ensuring their armies would never run out of money or resources. One of the most infamous instances of Nathan Rothschild growing substantial wealth from the outcomes of the French Revolution was the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
When the news was spreading that Napoleon escaped his imprisonment and returned to France to ignite the revolutionary ideals, stock markets around Europe, and especially London, began to fall because they were fearful that another prolonged French Revolution was ready to sweep across Europe once more. Aware of this, the Rothschild family began hoarding as much gold as possible, so when the time came and the governments would need money for military conflict the Rothschilds could loan out money to the governments, charging high-interest rates that the governments were forced to take.
The news was circulating that the Battle of Waterloo was taking place, and the financial securities that represented the European Monarchies victory were taking a large tumble. Knowing the price of the securities would sharply increase when the news broke that the monarchies would defeat Napoleon, Nathan Rothschild had secret couriers observe the battle and deliver the news of Duke Wellington’s victory over 24 hours ahead of the news breaking to the rest of the public. With that time, Nathan Rothschild was able to buy up financial securities at huge discounts, and when the news came a day later that Duke Wellington had defeated Napoleon, the price of the securities rose sharply and provided excellent exit liquidity for the Rothschilds to sell at a massive profit and continue to hoard the gold, assets, and resources in the world.
The Rothschilds and some historians dispute this particular case, nonetheless over the next few years, the Rothschilds would become stronger forces than any government in Europe by having the ability to decide who would get funding, when they would get that funding, and what that funding would be used for.
One year later in 1816, Nathan and his brothers were promoted to the rank of Nobility within Austria by Emperor Francis. This rank allowed the Rothschilds and Nathan to establish a stronger presence in government and private enterprises and allowed them to have substantial deal flow with some of the highest-powered aristocrats in the world. This promotion in rank was successful for the Rothschilds and the brothers were promoted again to the rank of Barons within Austria in 1822, giving them more opportunity to invest in massive projects.
One of those projects Nathan Rothschild started as an insurance company named Alliance Assurance Company in 1824. Alliance Assurance eventually absorbed other smaller insurance companies to form Sun Alliance, which lasted until 1996, until it merged with Royal Insurance to create the Royal & Sun Alliance which today has 9 million customers in over 100 countries across the globe.
In 1825, London underwent a massive crisis in its financial system where the cause is still in question today. However, there are countless theories proposed by historians regarding the cause of the crisis that revolves around the overall domestic economic volatility, monetary policies practiced by the Bank of London, fiscal policies performed by the British government, and fraud taking place in society which the government alone could not solve and led to the panic of 1825.
To put some background to the situation, to fund the British war efforts in the French revolution, the Government and Bank of England agreed to abandon the gold standard in 1797. This policy allowed the United Kingdom to issue debt that was not backed by any real money and the Bank of London to circulate more money in the economy with their new, expansionary monetary policy. This debt could circulate in the economy without the citizens' understanding, deprived of the British Government sanctions, the money that was circulating was worthless. Britain was notorious for issuing debt, rather than raising taxes, to generate the coinage required to fight these battles. As a result, The United Kingdom’s debt was becoming larger than any country had ever experienced in the world and becoming increasingly unstable for its economy to bear. Finally, because the debt was becoming unstable, the government had to partake in fiscal policy by issuing a progressive income tax that was thought of by William Pit the Younger in 1798. The citizens were strongly opposed to this measure and were eventually abandoned in 1816, leaving the government with no path to service their existing debt payments and continue circulating goods and services throughout the economy, therefore the government had to rely on the private central banking system and treasury.
During the French Revolution, the English economy was still experiencing prosperity because of the revenue-generating practices of the British government and private citizens and because the war avoided the islands. During this success, multiple state banks began to prop up, people had jobs in society and there was plenty of money to go around, Larry Neal states, “Through these wartime finance policies — which emphasized expansionary monetary policy and debt issuances rather than relying solely on taxation — the entire British financial system prospered while the hostilities continued” (Neal, Larry, 1998. The financial crisis of 1825 and the restructuring of the British financial system). The war allowed the government and central bank to have an excuse to issue money and continue to grow their economy while keeping people busy and employed in the economy. Even though people were suffering across the continent, Money Changers and the wealthy were able to stay safe from the hostilities, while taking advantage of the lower and middle classes struggle, to concentrate more wealth in their hands.
After the war and leading up to the financial panic, the economy began to slow. People started to lose jobs and the government was finding it extremely difficult to finance their debt and pay their interest payments without any substantial tax revenue. However, along with the industrialization and rapid growth of the economy, there was also rapid financialization and securitization of the economy, Mary Poovey explains, “In 1770, only five stocks had been available on the London Exchange. But by 1824, investors could choose from 624 joint-stock companies” (Poovey, 2002). In addition to more options being available, the terms and packages were getting more complex, and with most of the consumers of these products being lower and middle classes citizens that weren’t fully explained the products, they were being easily taken advantage of (Neal, 1998). This post-war peacetime economy that had a laissez-faire attitude shows great similarity to how our world economy collapsed in 2007-2010. A lack of regulation and due diligence, rapid and unsustainable growth in monetary policy, and banks taking advantage of people after 2001 were major factors into the most recent housing crisis that still lingers in the economy today.
The results of the panic had drastic effects on the citizens across Europe and the policies and culture extracted from this event still have an impact on culture, politics, and the economy for citizens across the globe today. Attempting to resolve the economic crisis that was unfolding, the Bank of England and the United Kingdom government agreed to re-peg the price of the pound to the government's supply of gold in 1825. Thus, after the British Pound was inflating drastically in price over the past 20 years because the central bank printed money, the currency went into a sudden and rapid deflationary period after the Bank of London reinstated the peg. This deflationary period makes it extremely difficult for small businesses and merchants to get loans because money is less available in the economy.
As a result, in 1826 the bankruptcies in the United Kingdom doubled from the already large number of defaults that occurred in 1825. Money Changers were able to gobble up the posted collateral of the lower and middle classes after the Money Changers were the ones responsible for causing the shortage of money in the economy to happen to begin with. Many Historians put heavy blame on the Bank of London’s policies to inflate and deflate the British pound at their will, which caused chaos in the exchange market for domestic goods and foreign currencies
Furthermore, because the government was pushing the idea that unintelligent state bankers were the main cause of the crash, the people of the United Kingdom allowed the Bank of England to take control over all of the state banks, creating more branches of the Central Bank and extending their power to even the most rural locations of the country.
Another crucial effect of the Panic of 1825 was the effect on 19th-century journalists and authors in the United Kingdom. Before the panic, book and newspaper publishers would be in heavy debt with the bank, while they were funding the authors creating valuable works. The authors who were writing were intelligent, great communicators, and had large fan bases; therefore, the authors demanded money upfront for them to peruse their research and writing. As a result, the publishers would advance the author's money, borrowed from the bank, to create valuable works. However, after the crash, many of the publishers who had large outstanding loans went bankrupt, and funding for intelligent and well-thought-out literature went with it. Alexander Dick states that once the well-established authors could not find funding and the demand for literature, in general, went down during a financial panic, the entire industry went through a transition. Less reputable and smaller publishers began propping up across the country, and they were able to retrieve funding because of the small amount of capital they demanded, which resulted in low-quality creations. Children’s books, low-quality brochures, and cheap newspapers began distribution and contaminating the mass population's mind, rather than good, informational, and educated pieces (Dick, http://branchcollective.org/).
Michael D Bordo, Professor of Economics at Rutgers University, states in his commentary collected by the St. Louis Federal Reserve, “Expansionary monetary policy fueled the boom, tight money ended it, and the Bank acted as lender of last resort too late to prevent massive bank failures from creating real economic distress”. How did the bank act as a lender of last resort? Nathan Rothschild, “was able to supply enough coin to the Bank of England to enable it to avert a liquidity crisis” (The Telegraph, 2011). In other words, Rothschild was able to loan out millions of dollars in gold (equivalent to billions with inflation) and charge whatever interest rates they wanted, because they controlled the supply and demand for money. As a result, England avoided a total economic collapse at the hands of Nathan Rothschild and his family was able to have supreme political and economic influence through the United Kingdom and Europe for centuries to come.
One example of the power of Nathan Rothschild was illustrated when the United Kingdom passed anti-slavery laws in 1833 and 1837. In 1833 the United Kingdom passed legislation that immediately made owning or trading slaves in the United Kingdom illegal and lasted until it was rebranded in 1998. Included in the bills was over £40,000,000 which was to distribute to over 40,000 newly freed slaves.
Just kidding, the £40,000,000 was given to the slave owners, who had to relinquish their rights to own humans. The United Kingdom government and taxpayers would make the largest government bailout of the private sector until the 2008 recession (Olusoga, David. (11 July 2015). Nathan Rothschild provided £15,000,000 of those loans where he would be paid interest, on top of being paid £5,000,000 in government stock (Nicholas Draper, The Price of Emancipation: Slave-Ownership, Compensation and British Society at the End of Slavery). The final payment of the entire loan wasn’t paid off until 2015, meaning that taxpayers were paying interest on a loan from European Money Changers for almost 200 years, that was meant to compensate those who were already wealthy and was one of the largest government funding projects in world history.
It's safe to say Nathan Rothschild left his mark on the world, by the time he died in 1836 his net worth was nearly 1% of the United Kingdom’s total national income. (Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money, 2008). He did have kids that would go on to become powerful bankers and maintain his family’s wealth through incest that we will discuss later. One famous quote from the Barings family, which was a rival European bank explains, "They are generally well planned, with great cleverness and adroitness in execution -- but he is in money and funds what Bonaparte was in war." During the time, the richest and most powerful people in the world feared Nathan and his family. An anonymous journalist describes Nathan Rothschild in great detail after meeting him at the London Stock Exchange,
“Eyes are usually called the windows of the soul. But in Rothschild's case, you would conclude that the windows are false ones, or that there was no soul to look out of them. There comes not one pencil of light from the interior, neither is there one gleam of that which comes from without reflected in any direction. The whole puts you in mind of an empty skin, and you wonder why it stands upright without at least something in it. By and by another figure comes up to it. It then steps two paces aside, and the most inquisitive glance that you ever saw, and more inquisitive than you would ever have thought of, is drawn out of those fixed and leaden eyes, as if one were drawing a sword from a scabbard. The visiting figure, which has the appearance of coming by accident and not by design, stops just a second or two, in the course of which looks are exchanged which, though you cannot translate, you feel must be of most important meaning. After this, the eyes are sheathed up again, and the figure resumes its stony posture. During the morning, numbers of visitors come, all of whom meet with a similar reception and vanish in a similar manner. Last of all the figure itself vanishes, leaving you utterly at a loss”
This section highlights the immense amount of power the Rothschild family was able to accumulate during the early 19th century. Many readers may be thinking, this is so long ago why should it matter to me today? The truth is, 200 years is not that long ago in the history of the world and we may have ancestors in memory who lived during this time. Furthermore, the Rothschild and other Money Changer’s heirs still roam the earth today with the greatest inheritance in the world and the power and influence to change world politics, influence economies, buy out entire media corporations and fund the government on their most ambitious and expensive projects. The Rothschild family would go on to be a dominant force in the years to come that we will continue to discuss, as well as other Money Changers from around the globe, as we continue down the timeline of human civilization and monetary manipulation.
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