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das monde - Ascent of Money:

In the post-Napolean Europe, the Rothschilds dominated bond markets of many European governments, from England to Prussia, from Russia, Austria to Belgium. They were in power to determine which ministers to appoint, or which wars were to be fought.

The liberal historian Jules Michelet noted in his journal in 1842: "M. Rothschild knows Europe prince by prince, the bourse courtier by courtier. He has all their accounts in his head, that of courtiers and that of the kings; he talks with them even without consulting his books" [pg 91]


Does anyone know if the following two quotes can be reliably attributed to the Rothschilds?

Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!

Mayer Amschel Rothschild

According to Wikiquote:

No primary source for this is known and the earliest attribution to him known is 1935 (Money Creators, Gertrude M. Coogan). Before that, "Let us control the money of a nation, and we care not who makes its laws" was said to be a "maxim" of the House of Rothschilds, or, even more vaguely, of the "money lenders of the Old World". This is a play on an English proverb, Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.

Then there is:

I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the Empire, ... The man that controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire. And I control the money supply.

Nathan Mayer Rothschild

These smell very apocryphal to me, but they are often cited, and not just on helter-skelter conspiracy sites.

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.

by marco on Tue Sep 1st, 2009 at 10:45:23 AM EST
No proof, but the language of the last one doesn't feel 19C British to me.

"The man that" is an Americanism: even today, British English would prefer the relative "who". The verb "control" is modern; I'd expect "master", for example. And I don't know when "the money supply" became current. I wish the OED wasn't so expensive...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 1st, 2009 at 11:35:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the back of my mind, something else felt wrong - it's "the British Empire".

Having checked, I see that Nathan Mayer Rothschild died in 1836, a year before the young Victoria came to the throne, 40 years before she took on the title of "Empress of India". The expression "the British Empire" may have conveyed something to some people in the 1820s and '30s, but phrases like "his Majesty's dominions" are more likely at the time. "The British Empire" is more of a post-hoc historiographic construct that gained currency later in the century.

The entire "quote" feels like a twentieth-century hack job to me. Anti-semitic sources not to be ruled out.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 03:08:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect you're right, but the language by itself is not necessarily proof, as a genuine quote might just have been modernized. I noticed this a few years ago in the German press with Bismarck's famous comment about George Bush ("Wehe dem Staatsmann, der sich in dieser Zeit nicht nach einem Grunde zum Kriege umsieht, der auch nach dem Kriege noch stichhaltig ist."): while the quote itself is genuine, many papers would reword it in modern German while still claiming it as a literal quote. I could easily see someone quietly changing "Hs Majesty's dominion" to the "British Empire" in a similar way.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 03:15:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This plus the absence of a reference for the quote seems enough to disqualify it?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 03:16:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the absence of a reference is the key part, and the language just serves as a backup.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 03:18:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are thus at least 2-3 similar quotes attributed to the patriarch Rothschilds widely on the internet (it appears, consistently). Hard to determine, is there a genuine quote proved somewhere. Were the Rothschilds sure of their power so early? Mayer Amschel did not have much empirical basis yet.

A classical reference on disproportionate but disguised power of largest bankers is

Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966), by Carrol Quigley.

A selection of its "disclosing" quotations is presented here.

by das monde on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 06:01:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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