“Either the application for renewal of the Charter is granted, or the United States will find itself in a most disastrous war.” Nathan Rothschild, 1811
“The dominion which the banking institutions have obtained over the minds of our citizens … must be broken, or it will break us.” Thomas Jefferson, 1815
As we know, there was indeed a war between the above quotes’ dates. Conventional history tells us the war of 1812 was essentially about trade restrictions unfairly placed on a neutral United States by the British Empire, currently at war with the French. Whilst this was undoubtedly the case, there were other actors involved – financial actors who strangely disappear no sooner than the doctrinaire historian commences writing. There is a reason for this – but that will have to wait for now.
Wars, being the single most expensive open-ended project nations can engage in, require staggering sums to allow their successful prosecution. And once begun, a lack of finance can only result in certain defeat. This simple fact puts those holding the purse strings in the position of a god – a position strong enough to alter the very course of a nation’s destiny, even more so if you are funding both sides.
This beggars the question: are there among us those who’s predations are so unfettered by conscience that they would deliberately foment mass slaughter to achieve these ends? Judging by the searing tone of multiple presidents speaking against the banking interests, not to mention the Nathan Rothschild quote above, the answer would appear to be: yes.
With successive Presidents holding firm to Jackson’s line, there was still no central bank through which the financial interests could consolidate their grip on the nation’s fortunes. Was there an opportunity which might turn the tide in their favor? Many researchers have boldly put forward the notion that the fuel for the Civil War was provided by the Rothschilds, acting through their agents. Men such as August Belmont (neé Schonburg, Germany) are often cited. Certainly, he was a Rothschild agent working out of New York. Where the South is concerned, we hear the names of Judah Benjamin and his partner, John Slidell. Slidell’s daughter Matilda married into the baronial d’Erlanger family, themselves relatives of the Rothschilds. Benjamin, born to British parents in the West Indies spent the rest of his life post Civil War living in England. His habit of destroying his personal papers (they totalled only six at the time of his death) makes establishing his connections to the European bankers difficult to impossible. Regardless:
“The division of the United States into federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe. These bankers were afraid that the United States if they remained as one block would attain economic and financial independence which would upset their financial domination over the world.” Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany
The Civil War did indeed bring the country to its financial knees, seemingly putting Lincoln at the private bankers’ mercy. Upon learning of their loan terms – at interest rates between 24 and 36 percent – Lincoln refused this extortion, putting his own ‘greenbacks’ into circulation. These allowed the American people to pay their own way out of the national debt, rather than bind their fate to obvious usury. The feelings this inspired in the European banking interests can be summed up by this contemporary comment in the London Times:
“If this mischievous financial policy, which has its origin in North America, shall become indurate down to a fixture, then the Government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous without precedent in the history of the world. The brains, and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That country must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”
Lincoln’s own statements on the matter only seemed to confirm the fears of the bankers. He stated:
“The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers… The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Government’s greatest creative opportunity… By the adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. The financing of all public enterprises, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.”
Faced with such sound fiscal prudence, the bankers began to devise ways to undermine Lincoln’s greenbacks, placing conditions and limitations on them. The bankers refused to allow the interest on the public debt to be paid in greenbacks, as well as import duties and other restrictions. These restrictions resulted in surcharges of up to 185 percent, effectively devaluing the greenback’s worth. Lincoln, sensing he was on the brink of victory in the War, yet having his ability to fund its successful prosecution undermined made the following statement:
“They persist, they have argued me almost blind – I am worse off than St. Paul. He was in a strait between two. I am in a strait between twenty and they are bankers and financiers.”
A deal was struck – Lincoln would get the finance he needed – and the banks would get their National Banking Act (1863). This gave the private banks the legal basis they needed to create National Bank Notes, taking the money power out of the hands of the government and ending Lincoln’s vision of self-finance – the ‘supreme prerogative’ – forever.
“A later act, passed on March 3, 1865, imposed a tax of 10% on the notes of State banks to take effect on July 1, 1866. The tax effectively forced all non-federal currency from circulation and increased the number of national banks to 1,644 by October 1866.
Next: tentacles from D.C., Jekyll Island and other dark places.