The Rise of the House of Rothschild [searchable]

Without suspicion of exaggeration it can be said that “The Rise of the House of Rothschild” is one of the most exciting

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Table of contents :
Foreword
I The Origins and the Early Activities of the Frankfort Family Rothschild 1
II The Rothschild Family During the Napoleonic Era 28
III The Great Napoleonic Crisis and Its Exploitation by the House of Rothschild 109
IV The Brothers Rothschild During the Period of Congresses, 1818-1822 187
V The Rothschild Business Throughout the World 277
VI The House of Rothschild Rides the Storm 343
NOTES 409
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES 425
BIBLIOGRAPHY 429
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THE R ISE OF THE HOUSE OF

ROTHSCHILD 1770



1830

Emil Ludwig, in the New Y ork Herald Tribune, says: This history of the H ouse of Rothschild constitutes a magnificent expression of the basic foundation, the factors of power and the mistakes of construction of the old Europe. The reader will find in this book a condensed history of Europe, chock-full of instructive and amusing details, hidden away in the story of a banking house. The N ew Y ork Times says: A n uncommonly fascinating history of a ffinancial dynasty which played a more important part in shaping the destiny of the world than many of the ruling houses.

BY

COUNT EGON CAESAR CORTI TRANSLATED BY BRIAN A N D BEATRIX LUNN

COSMOPOLITAN BOOK CORPORATION NEW YORK

The Rise o f the House of Rothschild by Count Egon Caesar Corti suspicion o f ex­ aggeration it can be said that “ The Rise o f the House o f Rothschild” is one o f the most exciting and important histori­ cal works published in our times. Awaited for many years, it is a mighty canvas o f turbu­ lent, scheming, warring Europe and o f that family o f golden Titans who pulled the strings on which kings, generals, and whole nations danced. In Ger­ many it created a furore immedi­ ately after publication.

W

ithout

Its author Count Corti already has a fine reputation in Europe as a biographer and historian. Before writing “ The Rise o f the House o f Rothschild,” he spent three years in research. When he sat down to tell the story, his desk resembled the secret ar­ chives o f a Foreign Office. Corti follows the strange trail o f the Rothschilds with a keen in­ stinct for the unraveling o f eco­ nomic history and diplomatic intrigue, and an equal sense o f human values that makes his book as fascinating as it is important.

Illustrated, Price $5.00

T he Rise of the House of R othschild

The Rise of the House of Rothschild COUNT EGON CAESAR CORTI Translated from the German by Brian and Beatrix L y nn

1770-1830

Cosmopolitan Book Corporation N E W YORK MCMXXVIII

TH E RISE OF TH E HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD

Copyright, 1928, by Cosmopolitan Book Corporation.



Printed in the United States o f America by J . J , LITTLE AND IVES COMPANY, NEW YORK

FO REW O RD Historians, in interpreting the nineteenth century, have laid stress on many and various aspects of the period under study; and descriptions of isolated periods, single episodes, and individuals are scattered amongst hundreds and even thousands of books. On the other hand, certain special features of the period under consideration have been, for various reasons, entirely neglected. A n example of such neglect is the ignoring by histo­ rians of the role played by the Rothschild fam ily in the history of the nineteenth century, and the object of this work is to appraise the important influence of this fam ily on the politics of the period, not only in Europe but throughout the world. For, strangely enough, the influ­ ence of the Rothschilds is barely mentioned, or at the most casually referred to, in otherwise comprehensive and painstaking historical treatises. Special literature dealing with the House of Roths­ child usually falls into one of two groups, either fulsome paeans of praise commissioned by the House itself, or scurrilous pamphlets inspired by hatred— both equally unpleasant. There are, however, two works of serious value in existence, which are partially compiled from legal documents, but they are of small scope. One is by an employee of the Rothschilds, Christian W ilhelm Berghoeffer, and the other is the im partial work of Dr. R ich ­ ard Ehrenberg; but these treat only of isolated incidents in the history of the House, and throw no light on its pan-European importance. T he object of the present work, which deals with the period 1770-1830, is to trace the rise of the House of Rothschild from its small beginnings to the great position it attained, culminating in the year of its great crisis.

vi

The Rise of the House of Rothschild

In the course of my researches I found that references to the name of Rothschild in official documents and in books of memoirs were as common as they are rare in contemporary textbooks. I made a point of collecting all available data until my drawers were literally crammed with letters, deeds, and documents containing the name of Rothschild, and bearing dates of almost every year of the nineteenth century. M y next step was to visit the various European capitals which had been the scene of the fam ily activities, in order to enrich my store of refer­ ences with all the relevant literature. T he subject is in­ deed inexhaustible, but the material I had amassed en­ couraged me to essay a complete picture. The subject required the most delicate treatment, but my determination to undertake the work was accom­ panied by the definite intention of according it complete impartiality, for I was convinced from the beginning that a prejudiced outlook would render the work utterly value­ less. T h e House of Rothschild, as w ill be readily under­ stood, did not throw open its archives to my inspection, for it is particularly careful in guarding its more important business secrets. But this was not entirely with­ out its advantage, for it left me completely free from political considerations and uninfluenced by racial, na­ tional, and religious predilections or antipathies. I was thus enabled, in accordance with my wish, to begin an independent historical research into the part played by this House in the nineteenth century, which I knew to be far more important than is commonly thought. T he general scheme of this work w ill be built upon facts alone, in a practical w ay such as w ill help us to form our own judgment on individuals and the part they played in world events. I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my special sense of gratitude toward all those whose advice and assistance have been so valuable to me in my work.

Foreword

V II

Above all I have to thank D r. Bittner, Director of the State Archives at Vienna, as well as his exceedingly help­ ful staff, Professors Gross, Antonius, Reinoehl, Schmidt, Wolkan, and his Chief Clerk, H err M arek. I should also like to thank Lieutenant-Colonel von Carlshausen, grandnephew of the man who helped the Rothschilds up the first rung of the ladder, and the Director of the Prus­ sian Secret State Archives at Berlin, Geheimrat Klinkenborg. M y thanks are also due to D r. Losch of the Prus­ sian State L ib ra ry in Berlin, D r. A . Richel at Frankfort and the staff of the M unicipal Museum in that city who, together with the Director of the Portrait Collection in the Vienna National Library, H ofrat Dr. Rottinger and D r. W ilhelm Beetz, who so kindly assisted me with the illustrations. T he material was collected for over a period of three and a half years, and only after much care has been spent on it do I now offer it to the public. I t is submitted in the hope that it w ill be judged in accordance with its intentions. It is inspired by an intense love of truth, and it relates the story of an unseen but infinitely powerful driving force which permeated the whole of the nine­ teenth century. ^ The Author Vienna, Ju ly , 1927.

CO N TEN TS CH APTER

I

CH APTER

II

C H A P T E R III

C H A P T E R IV

CH APTER

V

C H A P T E R VI

The Origins and the Early Activitieso scd ilyR m k n ra eF fth The Rothschild Family During the Napoleonic Era The Great Napoleonic Crisis and Its Exploitation by the House of Roths­ child The Brothers Rothschild During the Period of Congresses, 1818-1822 The Rothschild Business Throughout the World The House of Rothschild Rides the Storm

1

28

109

187

2 77

343

N O TES

409

B IO G R A P H IC A L N O T E S

425

B IB L IO G R A P H Y

429

ILLU ST R A T IO N S F ro n tisp iece Ancestral Home of the Rothschild Family Frankfort at the End of the Eighteenth Century Facing p- 8 11 16 The Ghetto in Frankfort Title-page of a Rothschild Coin Catalogue, 1770