The Rothschilds are the most famous banking family in history. In the 19th century they lent money to Kings and governments and funded both sides in the Napoleonic wars. They once saved the Bank of England from collapse with their own money. But how did they come to be so fabulously wealthy? In this two-part feature we first look at their rise from the ghettoes of Frankfurt, and then in part two we ask why they have been accused of everything from deliberately starting wars, to assassinating presidents and controlling the entire global financial system.
In The World’s Richest Family – You Didn’t Know About (Part 1) EconomyWatch journalist David Smith finds out how the Rothschilds came to be:
From their five European bases, the Rothschilds became masters of the political universe. They lent money to Kings, including England’s George IV, dined with Prime Ministers like Disraeli and Gladstone, funded the creation of a pan-European rail network and financed wars, including both sides in the Napoleonic Wars.
Their status was put most eloquently by the contemporary newspaper Nile’s Weekly Register in 1835:
“The Rothschilds are the wonders of modern banking…peering above kings, rising higher than emperors, and holding a whole continent in the hollow of their hands….not a cabinet moves without their advice.” Of Baron Nathan Rosthchild, the head of the English branch, the newspaper said:
“He holds the keys to peace or war. They are the brokers and counselors of the Kings of Europe and of the Republican chiefs of America. What more can they desire?”The Rothschilds didn’t just lend money to royals, they also behaved like royalty by marrying each other constantly. In 1836 Nathan’s son Lionel married his first cousin Charlotte Rothschild, who was herself the daughter of Nathan’s brother James, who had married his niece. In other words, her father was also her great uncle. Of Nathan’s seven children, four married Rothschild first cousins. Such inbreeding was genetically questionable, but it bred loyalty and kept money safely in the family.
Read the rest of The World’s Richest Family – You Didn’t Know About (Part 1) on EconomyWatch.
In The World’s Richest Family – You Didn’t Know About (Part 2), David Smith investigates the veil of conspiracy surrounding the Rothschilds:
We can trace the roots of this antipathy as far back as the 19th century when the Rothschilds were the supreme financiers of the world. At that time, the family was already being accused of financing wars for their own financial gain. The German writer Friedrich von Scherb wrote in his 1893 history of the family that:
“The house of Rothschild has arisen from the quarrels between states, has become great and mighty from wars. The misfortune of states and peoples has been its fortune.”This view that wars could not be fought without the support of Rothschild finance was shared by the left-wing English writer JA Hobson, who wrote in his book Imperialism: A Study (1902) that the Boer Wars had been funded by a small group of Jewish-German financiers, principally the Rothschilds, for economic gain.
“Does anyone seriously suppose that a great war could be undertaken by any European state, or a great state loan subscribed if the house of Rothschild and their connections set their face against it?” he wrote.These accusations that the Rothschilds were unscrupulous, even amoral, financiers may not shock us too much today. But the claims made against them began to take on a more anti-Semitic flavour in Germany after the 1st World War.
Read the rest of The World’s Richest Family – You Didn’t Know About (Part 2) on EconomyWatch.
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