The Rothschilds and the Civil War: 1858–1861
The events leading up to the Civil War were replete with international intrigue and Southern skullduggery. Mainstream historians usually only focus on states’ rights and the issue of slavery as the leading cause of the conflict, excluding the external threats posed by the Rothschilds and the Bank of England. Still bitter from their defeat in the War of 1812 and for losing out against Jackson in the bank war, which saw the defeat of their central banking scheme, the Rothschilds had been planning to conquer America since those losses, or at least divide and conquer it. Using their agents to rally the people against slavery led to tighter legal restrictions and embargos on the South. The South, of course, responded with secession and vowed to fight to the death to preserve their racist way of life. These tensions between North and South put the Rothschilds on notice given that they had maintained close business ties with the South’s cotton-growing aristocracy. These Southern plantation owners benefited greatly from the banking institutions and cotton manufacturers in England. In fact, by the time the war was set to break out the South was swarming with British agents working on behalf of the Rothschilds. They were positive that the Southern slavery issue was America’s Achilles’ heel and once sliced open would provide the back door through which they could sneak in and begin their assault.
Theirs was a brilliant plan to divide America on the issue of slavery and pit brother against brother as the Southern slave states dueled it out with the Northern industrial states. The problem was that slavery was widespread everywhere in America. In both the North and the South if you were rich there was a good chance that you owned slaves. The total percentage of slaves for the two combined regions that made up the Northern and the Southern states was 30.8 percent. Although the North had a large number of abolitionists and progressives, they also had racist laws and violent lynch mobs. As explained on the PBS show Africans in America, to the fugitive slave fleeing a life of bondage, the North was a land of freedom. Or so he or she thought. Upon arriving there, the fugitive found that, though they were no longer slaves, neither were they free. African Americans in the North lived in a strange state of semi-freedom. The North may have emancipated its slaves, but it was not ready to treat the blacks as citizens . . . or sometimes even as human beings.
Northern racism grew directly out of slavery and the ideas used to justify the institution. The concepts of “black” and “white” did not arrive with the first Europeans and Africans, but grew on American soil. During Andrew Jackson’s administration, racist ideas took on new meaning. Jackson brought in the “Age of the Common Man.” Under his administration, working-class people gained rights they had not before possessed, particularly the right to vote. But the only people who benefited were white men. Blacks, Native Americans, and women were not included. This was a time when European immigrants were pouring into the North. Many of these people had faced discrimination and hardship in their native countries. But in America they found their rights expanding rapidly. They had entered a country in which they were part of a privileged category called “white.”
Classism and ethnic prejudices did exist among white Americans and had a tremendous impact on people’s lives. But the bottom line was that for white people in America, no matter how poor or degraded they were, they knew there was a class of people below them. Poor whites were considered superior to blacks, and to natives as well, simply by virtue of being white. Because of this, most identified with the rest of the white race and defended the institution of slavery. Working-class whites did this even though slavery did not benefit them directly and was in many ways against their best interests.
Before 1800, free African-American men had nominal rights of citizenship. In some places they could vote, serve on juries, and work in skilled trades. But as the need to justify slavery grew stronger, and racism started solidifying, free blacks gradually lost the rights that they did have. Through intimidation, changing laws, and mob violence, whites claimed racial supremacy, and increasingly denied blacks their citizenship. And in 1857 the Dred Scott decision formally declared that blacks were not citizens of the United States. In the northeastern states, blacks faced discrimination in many forms. Segregation was rampant, especially in Philadelphia, where blacks were excluded from concert halls, public transportation, schools, churches, orphanages, and other places. They were also forced out of the skilled professions in which they had been working. And soon after the turn of the century, black men began to lose the right to vote—a right that many states had granted following the Revolutionary War. Simultaneously, voting rights were being expanded for whites. New Jersey took the black vote away in 1807; in 1818 Connecticut took it away from black men who had not voted previously; in 1821 New York took away property requirements for white men to vote, but kept them for blacks. This meant that only a tiny percentage of black men could vote in that state. In 1838, Pennsylvania took the vote away entirely. The only states in which black men never lost the right to vote were Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. The situation in what was then the northwest region of the country was even worse.
In Ohio, the state constitution of 1802 deprived blacks of the right to vote, to hold public office, and to testify against whites in court. Over the next five years, more restrictions were placed on blacks. They could not live in Ohio without a certificate proving their free status; they had to post a $500 bond “to pay for their support in case of want,” and they were prohibited from joining the state militia. In 1831 blacks were excluded from serving on juries and were not allowed admittance to state poorhouses, insane asylums, and other institutions. Fortunately, some of these laws were not stringently enforced, or it would have been virtually impossible for any black to immigrate to Ohio. In Illinois there were severe restrictions on free blacks entering the state, and Indiana barred them altogether. Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin were no friendlier. Because of this, the black populations of the northwestern states never exceeded 1 percent.
Blacks also faced violence at the hands of white northerners. Individual cases of assault and murder occurred throughout the North, as did daily insults and harassment. Between 1820 and 1850, northern blacks also became the frequent targets of mob violence. Whites looted, tore down, and burned black homes, churches, schools, and meeting halls. They stoned, beat, and sometimes murdered blacks. Philadelphia was the site of the worst and most frequent mob violence. In 1703 slavery in the North had been a common thing. Indeed, 42 percent of New York City’s households had slaves. By 1775 in New York City more than 3,000 slaves accounted for 30 to 40 percent of the city’s workforce. Nowadays institutional slavery makes up a good chunk of the workforce as more than 10,000 people alone are working for 15 cents an hour at the notorious prison on Riker’s Island. For-profit prisons have kept slavery alive while simultaneously ensuring that the minimum wage (paid to prisoners, i.e., slaves) remains low as businesses struggle to compete with the 15-cent-an-hour prison workforce. More than 2.2 million people are currently incarcerated in jails and prisons in the United States, a population that has increased more than 500 percent over the past forty years. Presently America accounts for about 5 percent of the world’s population; yet in terms of the world’s prison population we house more than 25 percent of our populace! Rwanda, a third-world country, is a distant second place, with a measly 5 percent of its citizens locked up. Of course, the increase in imprisonment in America has been mostly for drug possession, which is a direct attack on young men of color. Nearly half of the 2.2 million U.S. prisoners are black males. Put another way, about 1 in 9 black American males between the ages of 18 and 35 are now in prison, more than 1 million are on probation, and if current trends continue one-third of all black men will at some point wind up in prison in their lifetime. Sadly, there are more black men in prison, on probation, or on parole than were enslaved in 1860.
Slavery existed in every American colony until Vermont became the first state to eradicate it in 1777. Emancipation wasn’t complete in New York until 1827. The Spanish and Portuguese exported more than a million slaves from Africa to the New World long before the first handful ever reached Virginia. Scholars estimate that nearly ten million Africans were forced into slavery and shipped to the Americas. Every Western New World colony was basically a slave colony. French Canada, Jamaica, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Cuba, and Brazil all got their economic start thanks to slavery. The following excerpt from SlaveNorth.com explains further:
Slavery was still very much alive, and in some places even expanding, in the northern colonies of British North America in the generation before the American Revolution. The spirit of liberty in 1776 and the rhetoric of rebellion against tyranny made many Americans conscious of the hypocrisy of claiming natural human rights for themselves, while at the same time denying them to Africans. Nonetheless, most of the newly free states managed to postpone dealing with the issue of slavery, citing the emergency of the war with Britain. That war, however, proved to be the real liberator of the northern slaves. Wherever it marched, the British army gave freedom to any slave who escaped within its lines. This was sound military policy: it disrupted the economic system that was sustaining the Revolution. Since the North saw much longer and more extensive incursions by British troops, its slave population drained away at a higher rate than the South’s. At the same time, the governments in northern American states began to offer financial incentives to slave owners who freed their black men, if the emancipated slaves then served in the state regiments fighting the British. When the Northern states gave up the last remnants of legal slavery, in the generation after the Revolution, their motives were a mix of piety, morality, and ethics; fear of a growing black population; practical economics; and the fact that the Revolutionary War had broken the Northern slave owners’ power and drained off much of the slave population. An exception was New Jersey, where the slave population actually increased during the [Revolutionary]war. Slavery lingered there until the Civil War, with the state reporting 236 slaves in 1850 and 18 as late as 1860. The business of emancipation in the North amounted to the simple matters of 1) determining how to compensate slave owners for the few slaves they had left, and 2) making sure newly freed slaves would be marginalized economically and politically in their home communities, and that nothing in the state’s constitution would encourage fugitive slaves from elsewhere to settle there. But in the generally conservative, local process of emancipating a small number of northern slaves, the northern leadership turned its back on slavery as a national problem.
Slavery wasn’t just something that whites indulged in. Free blacks owned slaves as early as 1654 and continued doing so right through the Civil War. In fact the very first slave owner in American history, according to colonial records, was a free black man named Anthony Johnson. Prior to 1655 there were no legal slaves in the colonies, only indentured servants. All masters were required to free their servants after their time was up. Seven years was the limit that an indentured servant could be held. Upon their release they were granted 50 acres of land. This included any Negro purchased from slave traders. Negroes were also granted 50 acres upon their release. Anthony Johnson was a Negro from modern-day Angola. He was brought to the US to work on a tobacco farm in 1619. In 1622 he was almost killed when Powhatan Indians attacked the farm. 52 out of 57 people on the farm perished in the attack. He married a female black servant while working on the farm. When Anthony was released he was legally recognized as a “free Negro” and ran a successful farm. In 1651 he held 250 acres and five black indentured servants. In 1654, it was time for Anthony to release John Casor, a black indentured servant. Instead Anthony told Casor he was extending his time. Casor left and became employed by the free white man Robert Parker. Anthony Johnson sued Robert Parker in the Northampton Court in 1654. In 1655, the court ruled that Anthony Johnson could hold John Casor indefinitely. The court gave judicial sanction for blacks to own slave of their own race. Thus Casor became the first permanent slave and Johnson the first slave owner.
Whites still could not legally hold a black servant as an indefinite slave until 1670. In that year, the colonial assembly passed legislation permitting free whites, blacks, and Indians the right to own blacks as slaves. By 1699, the number of free blacks prompted fears of a “Negro insurrection.” Virginia Colonial ordered the repatriation of freed blacks back to Africa. Many blacks sold themselves to white masters so they would not have to go to Africa. This was the first effort to gently repatriate free blacks back to Africa. The modern nations of Sierra Leone and Liberia both originated as colonies of repatriated former black slaves. However black slave owners continued to thrive in the United States. By 1830 there were 3,775 black families living in the South who owned black slaves. By 1860 there were about 3,000 slaves owned by black households in the city of New Orleans alone.
African American historian John Hope Franklin writes: The majority of Negro owners of slaves had some personal interest in their property. But, there were instances, however, in which free Negroes had a real economic interest in the institution of slavery and held slaves in order to improve their economic status. Without doubt, there were those who possessed slaves for the purpose of advancing their [own] well-being. . . . These Negro slaveholders were more interested in making their farms or carpenter-shops “pay” than they were in treating their slaves humanely. . . . There was some effort to conform to the pattern established by the dominant slaveholding group within the State in the effort to elevate themselves to a position of respect and privilege. Free black slave owners in New Orleans offered their services to the Confederacy and vowed to shed their blood in defense of their slave-owning ways. They even formed a black militia that numbered one thousand volunteers who fought for the Confederacy when the war broke out. This platoon would ultimately become the first Civil War unit to appoint black officers.
In 1830 around 321,000 individuals (14 percent) of the black population were free. These free blacks owned 13,000 slaves, which is almost nothing compared to the other 2 million slaves owned by white people. So who were some of the more prominent free black slave owners? John Carruthers Stanly had been born a slave in Craven County, North Carolina, but graduated to become a freeman and one of America’s first successful barbers. He parlayed his earnings into real estate, and by the early 1820s Stanly was the proud owner of three plantations and 163 slaves. He even hired white overseers to manage his properties! William Ellison was the wealthiest black slave owner in South Carolina, a cotton gin maker and blacksmith who by the time of his death in 1860 owned one thousand acres of land and sixty-three slaves. From 1830 to 1865, Ellison and his sons were the only free blacks in Sumter County, South Carolina, to own slaves. During the Civil War they supported the Confederacy with substantial donations and aid. About 42 percent of free blacks owned slaves in Charleston, South Carolina, and surprisingly about 64 percent of these slaveholders were women.
By 1830, in Louisiana, several black people there owned a large number of slaves, including the following: In Pointe Coupee Parish alone, Sophie Delhonde owned 38 slaves; Lefroix Decuire owned 59 slaves; Antoine Decuire owned 70 slaves; Leandre Severin owned 60 slaves; and Victor Duperon owned 10. In St. John the Baptist Parish, Victoire Deslondes owned 52 slaves; in Plaquemine Brule, Martin Donatto owned 75 slaves; in Bayou Teche, Jean B. Muillion owned 52 slaves; Martin Lenormand in St. Martin Parish owned 44 slaves; Verret Polen in West Baton Rouge Parish owned 69 slaves; Francis Jerod in Washita Parish owned 33 slaves; and Cecee McCarty in the Upper Suburbs of New Orleans owned 32 slaves. Incredibly, the 13 members of the Metoyer family in Natchitoches Parish—including Nicolas Augustin Metoyer—collectively owned 215 slaves. Antoine Dubuclet and his wife Claire Pollard owned more than 70 slaves in Iberville Parish when they married. According to Thomas Clarkin, by 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, they owned 100 slaves, worth $94,700. During Reconstruction, he became the state’s first black treasurer, serving between 1868 and 1878. Andrew Durnford was a sugar planter and a physician who owned the St. Rosalie plantation, 33 miles south of New Orleans. In the late 1820s, David O. Whitten tells us, he paid $7,000 for seven male slaves, five females, and two children. He traveled all the way to Virginia in the 1830s and purchased 24 more. Eventually, he would own 77 slaves. When a fellow Creole slave owner liberated 85 of his slaves and shipped them off to Liberia, Durnford commented that he couldn’t do that, because “self-interest is too strongly rooted in the bosom of all that breathes the American atmosphere.”
By the eve of the Civil War the phenomenon of free blacks owning slaves had almost disappeared except in the lower South and places such as Louisiana. The practice of slavery is one of the world’s oldest vices, sometimes even a color-blind affair. Owning another person, black or white, male or female, is an evil business. Using the immoral practice of slavery as the main rallying cry for war, the Rothschild bankers were once again on the invisible front lines prepping for battle. In 1854 they had been instrumental in financing a key Southern Masonic outfit known as the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC), which was formed to ignite racial and political tensions associated with the issue of slavery. Prominent members of this secret society included Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, Confederate president Jefferson Davis, and the Confederate secretary of war, Judah P. Benjamin.
After their defeat in the Civil War, Benjamin and cronies escaped with as much gold from the Confederacy’s Treasury as they could, packed it on a boat, and shipped it back to England to the Rothschilds. The rest of the gold, more than two million dollars’ worth, was divided up, stashed away, and over time essentially lost to the history books. The Rothschilds controlled England via Lionel Rothschild while his brother James controlled the finances of France, making the Rothschilds once again masters of the chessboard playing both sides. Their concerns regarding America were openly written about in the Rothschild-owned Times of London. If that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic [i.e., honest constitutionally authorized no-debt money], should become indurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without a debt [to the international bankers]. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the civilized governments of the world. The brains and wealth of all countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe. The Rothschilds and their agents conspired with local politicians, bankers, and those in power to work against the best interests of America. Their carefully spun propaganda and shady behind-the-scenes meddling advanced into open rebellion and secession as, on December 29, 1860, South Carolina became the first Southern state to break free of the Union. Within weeks six more states had joined the fray, likewise pulling away from the Union to form the Confederate States of America and naming Jefferson Davis as their president. These Confederate plotters began raiding army surpluses and seizing forts, weapons, coined currency, and many other valuable properties belonging to the Union. President Buchanan’s cabinet wasn’t very loyal to the Union either and was close to bankrupting the nation, while ignoring the secession and blatant Confederate naval attacks on Union batteries in South Carolina. Shortly thereafter Abraham Lincoln became president and was inaugurated on March 4, 1861. Buchanan left a burning fire of hell for Lincoln to step into as the fifty-one-year-old mound-and-giant enthusiast took office a mere month before the start of the Civil War.
When in office Lincoln immediately ordered a blockade of European supplies to Southern ports, a move that inadvertently kicked off the war as the Confederates took the bold step of sacking Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. The war was on, and the Rothschilds were licking their lips. By Thanksgiving large numbers of British, French, and Spanish troops started amassing in Mexico while resources and aid to the Confederacy began pouring in from Europe. If the Rothschilds’ motivation for starting the Civil War was to kill a good chunk of Americans and then take back the U.S. banking system, they were off to a good start. They had managed to get control of most of the banks in New York. This was thanks to their agent August Belmont, who had decades’ worth of banking experience behind him as well as deep Rothschild connections, formed by working for both the Frankfurt and Naples branches of their empire. Belmont’s wife was the niece of John Slidell, a partner with Judah P. Benjamin in a law firm in New Orleans. Slidell was also a commissary sent to France to purchase supplies and ammunition for the Confederacy. Another branch of the Rothschild tree—the Lehman family—got their start by smuggling arms to the South and cotton to the North. The Rothschilds desired to produce chaotic conditions in America in the hopes of breaking up the fragile country. A united debt-free America was too powerful for them to contend with, but a splintered nation lunging at each other’s throats was a recipe made in heaven. Their old trick of supporting both sides at once increased their chances for victory. In New York, August Belmont shared valuable information with influential financiers in England and France while fellow agent Salomon James Rothschild helped finance the Confederate army. Salomon was a well-traveled playboy banker who had enjoyed extensive tours of philandering through America, Canada, and Cuba and was an eyewitness to the events leading up to the Civil War. Salomon was a representative of the world’s most prominent banking family and traveled with an entourage that mingled solely with high society. Salomon was also a pornography addict as noted by prominent New York lawyer and diarist George Templeton Strong, who met Salomon at a “carriage parade” party in Central Park and then again at the New York Club before Salomon was indefinitely banned from the vaunted establishment for lewd behavior. Strong wrote, “The Baron, though illustrious and a millionaire, was immoderately given to lewd talk and nude photographs.” Salomon later married one of his cousins, keeping the money in the family bloodline, a practice typical of the elites. However, he didn’t live long enough to enjoy it, because he died unexpectedly two years later in Paris at the young age of twenty-nine. The famous French writers the Goncourt brothers wrote, “Cabarrus, the Rothschild’s doctor, told Saint-Victor that the young Rothschild who died the other day really died of the excitement of gambling on the stock exchange.” This was a fitting end to the life of a Rothschild. Salomon’s views, concerns, and opinions on the Civil War, as revealed in the following letter, are fascinating. Especially interesting is the section about using his family influence in support of the Confederacy:
New Orleans, April 28, ’61 I am writing you a separate letter on politics, which is even more confused here than in Europe, but I cannot recommend to you strongly enough to use every influence of our family and our friends to have the Republic of the Southern Confederacy recognized as soon as possible. You will tell me that my ideas have changed, but when you read my other letter, you will tell me I am right, for in this way bloodshed and an immense destruction of property would be stopped. I have been in New Orleans for a month now, and I had expected to spend only a few days here. But the political events, which followed one another with such rapidity, were of such a throbbing interest to me that I thought it was my duty to prolong my stay and to make a thoroughgoing study of this very difficult and delicate matter. Having stayed in the North and in the South, having heard all possible discussions in favor of and against each side, I had the leisure to form a completely independent opinion of my own. I am going to try to transmit it to you, though it is difficult to do so in writing. Therefore, I should start a little farther back. You know that the former United States was made up of two great parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. These two parties were subdivided into groups, few in numbers, but extremely violent. The abolitionists were the ultra-Republicans; the “fire-eaters” or secessionists, the ultra-Democrats. Fanaticism and extreme factions always carry things their way, and as I gave you a presentiment a long time ago, abolition on the one side and secession on the other won over the moderate neutrals, in spite of themselves. The point of departure, then, as you know, was the question of slavery. Naturally, since this institution is the source of the wealth of the South, it was defended to the utmost by those who derived profit from it. Two reasons impelled the inhabitants of the North to seek the destruction of slavery by all possible means. The first, which was given by those who wanted to deceive, to win over, chivalrous hearts and to lure European sympathies, was a simple reason, that of humanity. In a free country like America, there shouldn’t be any slaves, and complete equality should prevail among all classes. The proof that this reason was not sincere is that the abolitionists spent millions in order to incite insurrections among the slaves, or to induce them to flee from their masters, but let them die of hunger because they were free, and gave them no opportunity for moral advancement. However, the real sentiment, which guided them and which they did not dare admit in that moment, was that feeling of leveling whereby everybody would have to be nominally equal. They couldn’t bear to see the inhabitants of the South with two hundred hands at their service, when they each had only two hands themselves. This feeling was the first germ of the social revolution, which is now swiftly following the political revolution. You will recall that I have been talking to you about this for a long time. The South had numerous sympathizers in the North, but these sympathizers were more interested than it was believed; they knew that with the help of the southern states they could keep power. This state of affairs could have continued for many years if the two divisions, South and North, of the Democratic Party had not split at the last electoral convention. Since each of them carried a different candidate, they surrendered power to a third thief, Lincoln, the Republican choice. The cotton states understood that there was no longer any security for them in a union in which the chief of state and all his ministers were their most implacable enemies. They seceded. Unfortunately for them, the secession was carried out, as everything is done on this continent, illegally and boastfully; and their bravado alienated many moderate men from them and prevented the central slave states from joining them right away. The Republican administration, thinking that it was dealing with just a small number of states without a large population, and supposing that within these very states the Unionist feeling was still very much alive and was silent only because of the violence and coercion of some demagogic ringleaders, resorted to repressive measures, for which the Constitution of the United States gave no authorization at all. The first effect of these measures was to make the sentiment for secession unanimous in the gulf states and strongly to estrange the central states. The latter made a last effort to bring the two factions together, but failed on both sides. After having promised the evacuation of Fort Sumter, the administration tried to resupply it. Several warships appeared in the roadstead; the population of Charlestown was aroused and, perhaps in too much haste, bombarded the fort and captured it. This first cannon shot decided the question. Lincoln issued a proclamation ordering the rebels to disband within twenty days and to raise the flag of the United States again under penalty of being punished and coerced by force of arms. The situation was becoming clear. The entire Deep South was united; the North was beginning to be, but it still had within its ranks many persons who favored southern rights. Pecuniary interests did the rest. The great question over which the representatives of the South and those of the North had been locked in bitter combat for thirty years was the question of tariffs. The South was a producer of raw materials and a consumer; the North was a manufacturer. Free trade, or at least very moderate custom duties, was the desire of the inhabitants of the South. The North was contending in favor of protection, often even of the prohibition [of imports]. By the old tariff law, the eastern states and New England furnished the other states merchandise, which these latter could procure in Europe, at reductions of twenty-five and thirty percent. As soon as the Republican administration (the protector of tariffs) came to power, Congress passed the Morrill Tariff, which raised duties to an unprecedented rate. The states that had seceded responded with a very great decrease in these same tariffs, intimating their eventual, complete abolition when the peaceful state of the country should allow them freedom from recourse to extraordinary measures. The North understood that it was lost if secession continued and made progress. Who would then come to buy the iron products of Pennsylvania and the manufactured goods of New England? It would no longer be the South, for the South would get its supplies in the European markets and would find a way to pass its purchases into the western states. From that moment on, the South no longer had a supporter in the North; Republicans and Democrats crowded around the flag of the Union. Patriotism and the old memories played some part in this; but believe me, the principal motive was the pocket. It was therefore necessary to get rid, at all cost, of this spirit of revolt, which was making daily progress and bringing the North closer to its ruin. The western and eastern states offered their troops and their treasuries to the government, and were willing to go to any extreme of sacrifice, but this appeal reverberated in a different way in the states that had as yet not decided. Virginia seceded immediately and, bringing to the Southern Confederacy the help of her numerous population and of her inexhaustible storehouses, sought to make up for lost time by seizing the federal arsenals. Tennessee and Kentucky answered that they didn’t have a single man to aid the administration to coerce the states of the South, but that they would find a hundred thousand men to defend them. Governor [C. F.] Jackson of Missouri, who was not counted on at all, for that state is surrounded by abolitionist populations and is only half slave, answered Lincoln “that his request was illegal, unconstitutional, . . . and diabolical.” Maryland also revolted, and the federal troops had to make their way through Baltimore amidst a rain of paving stones, which killed some of them and wounded many more.
Although stressing the importance of backing the South, the Rothschilds also backed the North and hoped for a long war and an eventual stalemate. They fanned the sparks of war knowing that they would reap a golden harvest once they divided the country in half. They foresaw no other conclusion than the American government begging them for financial help, which in turn the only solution they’d offer would be another rechartering of a Rothschild-owned central bank. At that time foreign financiers like the Rothschilds still owned the majority of state banks that had popped up after Biddle’s Second Bank collapse. By loaning money to these state banks at high interest rates the Rothschilds were able to control almost all of the loan decisions that were being made; these loans were typically backed by state bonds.The state of Mississippi, for example, sold $5 million in bonds with which to subscribe a third of the $15 million capital of the Union Bank. The promoters of the Union Bank made ill-advised loans and within a short time the bank failed. The state officials in Mississippi realized that the foreign financiers had hoped to reap windfall profits and had been largely responsible for the failure of the Union Bank, so these officials refused to repay the money owed the foreign vultures. The European financiers bought up “repudiated” southern state bonds and then began to use their financial power to have the United States federal government compel the southern states to pay off the disputed claims. The Rothschilds and the other foreign financier groups also thought they might be able to use their money power to force the U.S. federal government to assume the debts of the southern state banks as federal obligations. At its inception, the newly formed United States had assumed the debts of the colonies; so the foreign vultures thought they might be able to force the federal government to pay off the southern states’ debts. The issue of “states’ rights” versus a “strong central authority” became a national crisis point and the American Civil War was the result. War is a very profitable stratagem for rulers. The Rothschilds and other European financiers exacerbated the discord and hostility between the North and the South. Knowing full well that war was their best means of reaping huge profits, these vultures did everything in their power to instigate an American Civil War. By 1861, America was $100 million in debt, and its new president, Abraham Lincoln, had no choice but to seek financial help from the Rothschilds. With their plan working to perfection, they welcomed him with huge smiles and open arms.
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