the powerful rothschild dynasty ruled europe -- 5/20/16

Today's selection -- from Hidden History by Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor. The Rothschild dynasty controlled a banking empire that financed royalty and nations throughout Europe and beyond. They were the wealthiest family in the world, and their power was such that it rivaled and often surpassed the power of kings:

"The Rothschild dynasty was all-powerful in British and world banking and they considered themselves the equals of royalty, even to the extent of calling their London base 'New Court'. Like the British royal family, their roots lay in Germany, and the Rothschilds were possibly the most authentic dynasty of them all. They practised endogamy as a means of preventing dispersal of their great wealth, marrying not just within their own faith but also within their own immediate family. Of 21 marriages of the descendants of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the original family patriarch, no fewer than 15 were between cousins.

"Wealth begets wealth, never more so when it can provide or deny funds to governments and dominate the financial market on a global scale. The Rothschilds were pre-eminent in this field. They manipulated politicians, befriended kings, emperors and influential aristocrats, and developed their own particular brand of operation. Even the Metropolitan Police ensured that the Rothschild carriages had right of way as they drove through the streets of London. Biographers of the House of Rothschild record that men of influence and statesmen in almost every country of the world were in their pay. Before long, most of the princes and kings of Europe fell within their influence. This international dynasty was all but untouchable:

The House of Rothschild was immensely more powerful than any financial empire that had ever preceded it. It commanded vast wealth. It was international. It was independent. Royal governments were nervous of it because they could not control it. Popular movements hated it because it was not answerable to the people. Constitutionalists resented it because its influence was exercised behind the scenes -- secretly. ...

"Throughout the nineteenth century, the Rothschild family banking, investment and commercial dealings read like a list of international coups. Entire railway networks across Europe and America were financed through Rothschild bonds; investments in ores, raw materials, gold and diamonds, rubies, the new discoveries of oil in Mexico, Burma, Baku and Romania were financed through their banking empire, as were several important armaments firms including Maxim-Nordenfeldt and Vickers. All of the main branches of the Rothschild family, in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Naples and Vienna, were joined together in a unique partnership. Working in unison, the branches were able to pool costs, share risks and guarantee each other major profits.

"The Rothschilds valued their anonymity and, with rare exceptions, operated their businesses behind the scenes. ... They would rescue ailing banks or industrial conglomerates with large injections of cash, take control and use them as fronts. For example, when they saved the small, ailing M.M. Warburg Bank in Hamburg, their enormous financial clout enabled it to grow into one of the major banks in Germany that went on to play a significant part in funding the German war effort in the First World War. This capacity to appear to support one side while actively encouraging another became the trademark of their effectiveness. ...

"The English branch, N. M. Rothschild & Co., headed by Lionel Rothschild, became the major force within the dynasty. He promoted the family interests by befriending Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, whose chronic shortage of money provided easy access to his patronage. The Rothschilds bought shares for Albert through an intermediary, and in 1850 Lionel 'loaned' Queen Victoria and her consort sufficient funds to purchase the lease on Balmoral Castle and its 10,000 acres. Lionel was succeeded by his son Nathaniel, or Natty, who as head of the London House became by far the richest man in the world. ...

"The Rothschilds frequently bankrolled pliant politicians. When he was secretary of state for India, Randolph Churchill (Winston's father) approved the annexation of Burma on 1 January 1886, thus allowing the Rothschilds to issue their immensely successful shareholding in the Burma ruby mines. Churchill demanded that the viceroy, Lord Dufferin, annex Burma as a New Year's present for Queen Victoria, but the financial gains rolled into the House of Rothschild. Esher noted sarcastically that Churchill and Rothschild seemed to conduct the business of the Empire together, and Churchill's 'excessive intimacy' with the Rothschilds caused bitter comment, but no one took them to task."


Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor


Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War.


Mainstream Publishing


Gerry Docherty and Jim Macgregor


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