37-MASS COMMUNICATION

Our world, the western world, started when the Jews and Huguenots, the enemies of the Holy Roman Empire, created democracy in England in 1689. After getting a foothold in Amsterdam in 1602, they were extremely successful running the East India Company and eventually set up their headquarters in the City, in London. In 1688, the bankers financed the election of the people’s representatives while creating a proper parliament. Democracy as it became known, was a win-win situation for all. Parliamentarians were forever asking the bankers for loans, and in wanting to safeguard this great source of credit, the politicians made sure they collected taxes in order to pay back the loans, or at least the interest. The bankers were thus sure of having their loans repaid for the first time in their history, and they invested in research and development at a frenzied pace. The period of R&D that was to follow would be known as the Industrial Revolution.

At first, there was no infrastructure, and communication was limited to the printed page. The printing press had been invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440, but the rotary press did not see the day until 1846. The Industrial Revolution was slow in getting going, but it got in gear when, in 1765, James Watt invented a converter for the world’s first steam cylinder and piston engine that had been invented by Denis Papin, a Huguenot from Hesse, in 1690. As of 1765, the Industrial Revolution had a full head of steam so to speak. Manufacturing goods, weaving cotton, mining with steam power and transporting those merchandises along roads and canals became commonplace. Other major inventions like Eli Whitney’s cotton gin in 1793, Elias Howe’s sewing machine with interchangeable parts in 1846, and Henry Bessemer’s steelmaking process in 1857 contributed to the production of goods, but the concept of globalization envisaged by Nathan in the City in 1810, and by his father before him, depended entirely on the development of communications.

Nicephore Niepce invented photography in 1820, Samuel Morse the telegraph in 1844, Charles Havas, Paul Reuter and Bernhard Wolf founded the news agencies in 1845, and from there, communications increased exponentially. When Bessemer invented the steelmaking process in 1857, railroad tracks were finally cast in a durable material and the construction of railroads mushroomed. Then came Graham Bell with the telephone in 1876, Thomas Edison with the light bulb in 1879, and Nikola Tesla with the a/c induction motor in 1887. However, when George Westinghouse triumphed over Edison with his a/c current distribution system in 1891, that changed the industrial world as well as people’s lives. The global village was born.

As research and development continued to receive astounding amounts of credit, images and voices started travelling through the air over long distances. Reginald Aubrey Fessenden transmitted the human voice without wires in 1900, and Hollywood started producing films that seduced the whole world as early as 1910. After Henry Ford got the combustion engine rolling with his Model-T, and the Wright Bros. got it flying in 1903, films made in America, the dream nation, were seen around the world. Although images started travelling through the air with TV in 1926, it was the talking colour film introduced in 1930 that entrenched the ‘image is the message’ concept of Marshall McLuhan. When the first computer and its mouse arrived in 1976, and especially when Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web came along in 1990, we became information addicts. But it was the smartphone in 1993 that captivated our total attention and hardwired us to the news agencies, transforming us into smombies in the process. It took 3 million years to get to steam energy, but it took a mere 225 years more to get the whole world lit up and connected.

Hollywood was a good example of how research and development money gets things done. In the early 1900s, filmmakers, almost exclusively Jewish, began moving to California. The idea was to create the film industry in an unreachable place where they would be free to use with impunity the usurped patents owned by Thomas Edison and Eastman Kodak of New Jersey. If an agent from New Jersey came out west to sue them, all the filmmakers had to do was make a quick escape to Mexico. There was really not much Thomas Edison or George Eastman could do in order to protect their patents.

The first film, ‘In old California’, was produced in 1910. From there, the Laemmle’s, the Zukor’s, the Frohman’s, the Lasky’s, the Goldfish’s, the Abrams’, the Warner’s, the DeMille’s, the Cohn’s, the Selznick’s, the Sarnoff’s, the Zanuck’s, the Loew’s and the Mayer’s, Jews for the most part, made the industry prosper with lightning speed. The radio and film industries launched the 20th century into the realm of globalization, and in the blink of an eye, television, computers, mobile phones and airplanes turned us into world citizens.

36-BATTLE OF WATERLOO

When Napoleon returned from Russia, Nathan decided it was time to get rid of him. Nathan financed the armies of Austria, Prussia, Russia and England on the one hand and Napoleon’s Imperial Army on the other. Napoleon suffered defeat upon defeat, and after his encounters with Wellington in Spain, he was forced out of the Iberian Peninsula. Defeated, he signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau on April 11, 1814, abdicating in the process, and was exiled to the Island of Elba.

However, something very odd happened on February 26, 1815. In wanting to completely uproot Napoleon’s personal empire and destroy what was left of the Imperial Army in order to create, or at least try to create, a French constitutional monarchy, Nathan probably arranged to have him escape from Elba. As the British guard ships looked the other way, Napoleon slipped away from Portoferraio on board the French warship Inconstant with some 1,000 men and landed between Cannes and Antibes on March 1. He knew that Royalist Provence was not very friendly to him, and so, he avoided Provence by taking a route through the Alps on his way to Paris.

Surprisingly, without firing a single shot, he marched unimpeded in a country in which he was reviled, and his troop numbers swelled until they became an army. On March 5, the Royalist 5th Infantry Regiment at Grenoble crossed over to Napoleon en masse. The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel, Charles de la Bédoyère, who would later be executed for treason by the Bourbons. An odd anecdote illustrates Napoleon’s charisma. When Royalist troops were dispatched to stop Napoleon at Grenoble, Napoleon stepped out in front of them, ripped open his coat and said “if any of you wishes to shoot his Emperor, here I am.” Instead of doing their duty, the men acclaimed him as his ‘grognards’ had when he had first gone to Italy.

Marshal Ney, a military commander under Louis XVIII, was heard to say that Napoleon should be brought to Paris in an iron cage, but on March 14, that same Ney rejoined his old comrade in arms with 6,000 men. Five days later, after making his way northward, promising constitutional reform and an elected assembly, Napoleon entered the capital to the acclaim of the crowds.

In the meantime, Nathan arranged to have the Coalition countries, Austria, Prussia, Russia and England, to meet in Vienna where they proceeded to declare Napoleon an outlaw and pledge 150 000 men to defeat him. Unruffled, Napoleon decided to take the offensive by going after the weakest army, that of Wellington, which had marched into Belgium. Because there were still many English troops in Canada as a result of the War of 1812, Wellington didn’t have what could be called an elite army.

The Duke of Wellington with 110,000 men, and Prussia’s Field Marshal Blucher with 120,000 men were the only two armies close enough to threaten France, and so Napoleon decided to strike before the Russians and the Austrians arrived. Moving with stunning speed, he invaded Belgium with 125,000 men in a bid to split Wellington and Blucher’s armies and defeat each separately.

Marshal Grouchy went to meet Wellington’s army while Napoleon defeated the Prussians. Then, with the Prussians on the run, Napoleon decided to personally go after Wellington to the north. Marshal Grouchy was to make sure the defeated Prussians to the east would not come back and join up with Wellington. However, it took more time than expected for Napoleon to drive through Wellington’s defenses, and mysteriously, Marshal Grouchy failed to hold back the routed Prussians. According to legend, at noon, on the 18th of June, Grouchy was having lunch with a local notable and was more interested in finishing his meal and having his strawberry desert than in heeding his officer’s insistent and repeated warnings that the Prussians were returning. When Blucher’s forces joined up with those of Wellington, Napoleon didn’t have a chance. It marked the end of the Battle of Waterloo.

Meanwhile, Nathan had put a formidable communications network in place, and on the day of the battle, he was in London waiting for the official results. Even though Nathan was financing all the armies and probably had arranged to have Marshal Grouchy betray Napoleon, he wanted to be absolutely sure before putting his devilish stock exchange plan in motion. Nathan already held a goodly amount of the 300 million pounds’ worth of Consols, the debt England had consolidated in funded government securities that were traded on the London Stock Exchange, but he wanted to own it all.

As soon as the battle outcome was confirmed by his personal couriers who had waited for the carrier pigeons to arrive, and who had then rushed to the London Stock Exchange to inform the great man, Nathan started dumping all the Consols that he owned, making sure all the traders saw what he was doing. In no time at all, convinced that Nathan knew something they didn’t, the traders started dumping their Consols until the price of Consols dropped to ten percent of their value. When Nathan gave the signal, his aides bought back all the Consols as fast as they could. When the outcome of the battle was made public a short time later, and when everybody realized it had been Wellington, and not Napoleon, who had won, the price of Consols skyrocketed past their original high, and in a single day, Nathan had taken charge of the entire English debt and thus was in total control of the Bank of England and the monetary system of Britain.

Napoleon was exiled to St. Helens, and Louis XVIII was encouraged to establish a French constitutional monarchy. But the Holy Roman empire power machine was still too powerful, and the attempt to establish a constitutional monarchy backfired when the royalists perpetrated the White Terror. Louis XVIII was then removed from power with the help of Adolphe Thiers, and Nathan made another attempt at establishing a constitutional monarchy with Charles X, but it was no better. So, again with Thiers’ help, Charles X was removed. Nathan tried again to establish an English style monarchy in 1830 with Louis-Philippe, the citizen king, but again it was unsuccessful. When Lionel, Nathan’s son, became head of the dynasty in 1836, he decided that enough was enough. Paris, the center of power, would be cleaned up and transformed into the City of Lights, and France would return to being a republic as established under Napoleon. In order to do that, he would once more use the very versatile politician, Adolphe Thiers.

Under Lionel’s direction, the first thing Thiers was asked to do was build a huge wall around Paris which he did starting in 1841. Then, in 1848, Lionel got Thiers to have the bumbling idiot, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, elected President. In 1852, as planned, with Adolphe Thiers by his side, President Napoleon III unilaterally declared himself emperor. With Thiers’ wall finished in 1844, the construction of the City of Lights began in 1848 with the help of Baron Hausmann. In 1870, Napoleon III declared a nonsensical war on Germany, but surprisingly, it was Bismarck who attacked France and laid Paris under siege. Many of the federalists, who were supposed to be rounded up and exiled to New Caledonia, having too valiantly opposed Adolphe Thiers’ troops, were instead shot like fish in a barrel. The remaining federalists were exiled to New Caledonia, the wall came down, and in 1875, the royalists threw in the towel by agreeing to the Constitutional Laws. France was now officially a republic and was to be governed by an elected president with a 7-year mandate. The French nightmare was over, thanks to Lionel who must have been devastated by the massacre perpetrated by Adolphe Thiers. The democratic dictatorship created at that time is still in place today.

 

35-MOSCOW CAMPAIGN

After launching the War of 1812, confident that the American politicians would renew his bank’s charter, Nathan turned his attention to Europe. He was anxious to send Napoleon to Russia. Like his father, he believed that more gold bullion was needed if the number of central banks, and hence the number of democracies, was to grow. It was crucial to accumulate as much gold as possible while waiting for the USA to become a coast-to-coast country and for the US dollar to become as good as gold. The problem in 1812 was that gold mining was still in its infancy, and that exploiting alluvial gold deposits was very much a problem. However, it just so happened that the most advanced mining engineering school in the world was in Paris. L’École des Mines de Paris founded in 1783 had developed the latest techniques for extracting alluvial gold, and this gave Nathan the wherewithal to carry out his plan.

In 1803, alluvial gold had been discovered on the western slope of the Urals in Russia, and it was well known that the Tsar wanted to keep it a secret, for he didn’t want the serf population to start a gold rush. In 1810, Nathan who was setting the world price for gold bullion out of the City in London, was well aware of that situation. Therefore, he would get Ouvrard to contact Talleyrand who in turn would encourage Napoleon to go and force Tsar Alexander to open the country to private gold mining. Napoleon would take a corps of engineers with him, and once Alexander was forced into accepting, that elite corps would be dispatched to the Urals in order to launch and supervise mining operations. Of course, as an incentive, Napoleon was to keep all the proceeds from the sale of the mined gold. Nathan would open a Russian bank and buy all the gold as it was being produced. Nathan would give the Tsar his royalties on the one hand, and buy the gold by sending letters of exchange in pounds to Napoleon in Paris. The gold would then find its way to Nathan’s vaults in the City. Napoleon and the Tsar would get the paper, and Nathan would get the gold.

Napoleon started the Russian campaign in June, 1812, and he was heading into a Russian winter which made no sense. A lot of people wonder to this day why he went. After major losses, he entered Moscow, but the retreating Russian Army had burned and stripped the city of supplies. It was a deadly place to be for a starving army. He could easily have gone on to Saint Petersburg to defeat Tsar Alexander and winter his troops in that city, but he chose to stay in Moscow for a whole five weeks instead. Napoleon was obviously waiting for an answer from the Tsar, to whom he had issued an ultimatum regarding opening the country to gold mining. After likely receiving assurances from Tsar Alexander that it would be done, Napoleon decided to spare Saint Petersburg, and took off as fast as he could for France, but not before dispatching to the Urals a contingent of 22 000 men headed by engineers from l’Ecole des Mines de Paris. If Napoleon then took the same direct way back to France, knowing full well the countryside was totally devastated by the passing of his army on the way to Moscow, and that winter was around the corner, it was because he was in a hurry to reap the benefits of the campaign and was willing to gamble. Napoleon made it OK, but his army wasn’t so lucky. Winter set in early, and his army was completely annihilated.

Later that year, the Russian senate issued an act authorizing subjects and private companies to mine for gold and silver ores providing they pay royalties to the Severnaya Kazna National State Bank. As expected, numerous private mining companies with Russian names started mining operations, and the country’s gold output was as much as 2 tons during the first year of activity. Financing research and development in gold mining technology and buying the gold produced at the price set by Nathan in the City would become the modus operandi for all time.

Meanwhile, in Judengasse, Mayer’s health was failing. Upon receiving the bad news, Nathan duly rushed to Frankfurt, and was at his father’s bedside when he died on September 19, 1812. One can only wonder if the War in America declared on June 18, 1812, happening at the same time Napoleon was starting his Russian Campaign, didn’t adversely affect Mayer’s health. Did he think Nathan was in too much of a hurry? Did he think too many people were being killed needlessly in the name of gold? Or was 68 considered a ripe old age for the times? No matter, the greatest man who ever lived passed away in almost total anonymity in the ghetto where he was born.

One thing is certain, Gutle must have reminded Nathan of the absolute necessity for discretion and anonymity so dear to his father. In London, Nathan had been doing exactly the opposite of what Mayer had always done. By not keeping a low profile while running the greatest financial dynasty of all time, Nathan was running counter to the founder’s wishes.

However, Nathan’s 4-year-old son Lionel also attended his grandfather’s funeral. Fortunately, Gutle bonded instantly with her grandson, and when he took over the reins of power after his father’s death in 1836, Gutle was still living in Judengasse. She died much later, in 1849, and Lionel visited the old woman he loved as often as he could. Gutle had a great influence on him, for under his direction, the dynasty built by Mayer slowly went back to keeping a low profile, to the point where most people today wonder if it ever really existed. Nonetheless, Nathan’s bank in the City still fixes the daily price of gold for the whole world and does so in US dollars.

34-THE 1812 TSUNAMI

In 1811, the charter for the First Bank of the United States ended. President James Madison and ex-President Thomas Jefferson, by now convinced that the American monetary system was in private hands, let it be known that they were going to do everything they could to put a stop to the operations of these greedy private bankers. However, Nathan operating out of the City was omnipotent, which meant he had a lot more gold than all the shareholders of the Bank of England combined. At that time, he had more than half the gold ever produced in the world, an estimated 5000 tons.

On March 4th of that same year, Nathan declared unilaterally that either the application for renewal of the charter of the Second Bank of the USA would be granted, or the United States would find itself involved in a most disastrous war. Quite unexpectedly, on June 18th, 1812, it was President Madison who declared war on England, not the other way around. It begs the question, how did Nathan get Madison to declare a futile, senseless war?

Early on, Nathan realized that there was strong opposition to the renewal of the charter of the First Bank of the United States. Since the USA refused to annul their 1768 trade agreement with France, and since money talks, Nathan had the English parliament strong-arm the Americans into trading with England instead of France, as per Jay’s Treaty signed in 1793. Not surprisingly, the British Admiralty was only too happy to start impressment tactics by seizing American ships trading with France and forcing the American sailors to integrate the English Navy. This was an intolerable situation, and just as Nathan expected, Congress declared war against England.

Congress was forced to borrow from the First Bank of the United States, Mayer’s bank which was still operational, while the English Parliament was forced to borrow from the Bank of England, which had been unofficially taken over by the N A Rothschild & Sons bank founded in 1810. Ever since the Battle of the Nile in 1799, Mayer’s dynasty has financed all opponents in major armed conflicts, for it’s the surest way to get the desired outcome.

The War of 1812, started in August of that year, ended unofficially when the White House, residence of President Madison, was burned down by the English troops in August, 1814. Congress, financially ruined by the war, was forced to sign the charter for the Second Bank of the United States into law on December 15th, 1815, thus giving the bank another twenty-year lease that was to last until 1836. As of that moment, Mayer’s dynasty officially controlled the monetary systems of England and America, and unofficially those of Russia, France, Holland and Germany.

In short, the year 1812 was a pivotal year for the Rothschild dynasty. First, the War of 1812 forced the US Congress to accept a monetary system based on the dollar and controlled by Nathan in the City, the same one that had been established in 1781 by his father. Also, in 1812, the Russian campaign by Napoleon set up the modus operandi with regards to the exploitation of gold for centuries to come. Thereon in, by encouraging the production of gold and buying all the gold produced either in Russia, South Africa, North America, Australia or elsewhere, Nathan and his dynasty would be able to create more democracies by controlling their monetary systems.  Unfortunately, 1812 was also the year when the patriarch of the dynasty, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, died in the Judengasse ghetto in Frankfort.

As for the Holy Roman Empire, it was still not completely defeated by the financial power in the City, and it kept doing everything it could to stop Mayer’s dynasty from destroying what remained of the Ancien Regimes of Europe and from taking control of their monetary systems. As expected, major wars were needed in order to completely uproot the Ancien Regimes, and they would all be won in the name of democracy by the powers that be in the City. On her deathbed, Nathan’s mother was heard to say, ‘if my sons didn’t want war, there would be none’, and she was right.

33-NATHAN IN THE CITY

When he arrived in England in 1798, other than wanting to do a good job and making his father proud, Nathan had a pressing personal matter. In 1795, on a trip to America with his father and brothers, they had stopped over in London, and he had been introduced to two families. Though Moses Elias Montefiore’s family was the one meant to welcome him when he moved to England, Nathan developed closer ties to the Levy-Barent Cohen family, for ever since 1795 when Nathan met Hannah Cohen, who was 12 at the time, that adorable little girl had been constantly on his mind.

Nathan started off by going undercover to Manchester. He had left the Judengasse ghetto as a penniless young man in 1798, and in the space of 8 years, he supposedly became the wealthiest man in the world. After achieving this feat dealing in the cloth business, he went to London. Other than wanting to see Hannah Cohen in London, being the man that he was, he must have been also champing at the bit to take over from the Goldsmids in the City. In 1806, he married Hannah Cohen, in 1808 Lionel was born, and in 1809 he moved to St. Swithin’s Lane in New Court. In 1810, after replacing the Goldsmid Brothers, he proceeded to create a bank in his own name, N M Rothschild & Sons, and overnight, he was recognized as the most powerful banker in the City, and hence, the world.

However, in taking over from the Goldsmid Bros., he had been helped by destiny. Benjamin Goldsmid committed suicide in 1808 just prior to Nathan’s moving to Swithin’s Lane. It was said that Benjamin had been depressed for some time. When his 19-year old son converted to Anglicanism, it had shaken him up, and when his wife and daughters followed suite, it appeared to do him in. At that time, he had expressed the thought that he was saddened by the thought of being the last Jew in his family, and no doubt, that had led him to be further depressed, enough to take his life. One morning, he was found in his bedroom dangling at the end of his bathrobe chord.

Abraham was troubled by his brother’s suicide, and doubly so because he was now alone in facing his firm’s business obligations. The brothers had bought £14,000,000 of Government Consoles, and in order to do so they had contracted a sizeable loan with the East India Company in Amsterdam. In 1810, for reasons unknown, the East India Company called in Abraham’s loan. That of course forced him to sell the Consoles at below market, thus making him suffer a huge loss that resulted in the insolvency of the firm. Abraham, a respected and honorable business man, used the whole of his personal assets to pay back what he owed, and that left him penniless. He committed suicide in 1810. A handgun was found near his body lying in a wooded area not far from his home.

In that same year, at age 33, Nathan opened his bank in the City. Miraculously, he was instantly recognized as the most powerful banker in the City. He probably had taken possession of his father’s gold in the Goldsmids coffers, almost half the gold ever produced in the world, some 5 thousand tons. Consequently, his bank immediately started fixing the daily price of gold for the whole world, and continues to do so to this day. If Nathan opened the bank in his own name it was because Mayer wanted to make sure Nathan’s bank didn’t have any official ties with himself. In doing so, all possible ties to a father who lived in a ghetto, to his bank, the First Bank of the United States, and to the gold accumulated during the French real estate scam, vanished. Nobody would ever know where all that power and gold enjoyed by Nathan came from. Anonymity was the key to success.

1810 was also a time to decide Napoleon’s fate. That year, Napoleon was tidying up his personal life. He had wanted a male heir, and since Josephine couldn’t give him one, he divorced her very solemnly and publicly. He married Marie-Louise of Austria later that year, and his son, the King of Rome, was born in 1811. Nathan thought that Napoleon had served his purpose. After shoring up Barras who put an end to the Terror, after serving as a catalyst for the demise of the French Navy, after politically transforming France into the centralist state that it is to this day, and after dismantling the Holy Roman Empire on both sides of the Rhine, Emperor Napoleon and his Imperial Army were no longer needed. However, there was one more thing Napoleon could do before he was given the coup de grace, he could go to Russia and force the Tsar to let private companies mine for gold in the Urals.

 

32-QUASI-WAR & TRAFALGAR

The Quasi-War was a result of the signing of Jay’s Treaty in 1793, a trade agreement that Mayer and Benjamin had deemed indispensable to the growth of the American economy. America and France had signed the Treaty of Alliance in 1778, and Jay’s Treaty was putting an end to that agreement. The French and many Americans were incensed, for it was seen as a treacherous act by both the US Congress and the Directorate in France. Naturally, the French revolutionaries retaliated by insisting on the return of the 500 tons of gold given to America in 1778.

Since Congress was in no position to do that, the French revolutionary government’s navy started sinking American merchant ships. If Mayer was to defuse the situation before it got out of hand, he needed to have a strong presence in the City, and in 1798, he sent his 21-year-old son Nathan to England. Mayer then asked Robert Morris to get the American Congress to send diplomats to France and offer to compensate France by having the USA buy the French territory west of the Mississippi. Mayer’s bank would do the financing and pay handsomely. As for Nathan, once the Louisiana was completed, he was to devise a way to get rid of the very royalist and redundant French Navy.

When Robert Morris suggested that Congress send an American delegation to Paris and offer to buy New Orleans for 15 million dollars, he was sure it would be accepted, for that was also of opening the Mississippi to Atlantic trade. As for Bonaparte, he was sure to accept, for he would have enough money to crown himself emperor. But before the sale could be completed and the Quasi-War stopped, France had to reclaim the port of New Orleans that they had ceded to the Spanish when they left America after the Treaty of Paris, in 1763. Talleyrand was to get the Spanish to sign a treaty by promising them the return of half of San Domingo, that was presently occupied by France, in exchange for New Orleans.

However, this ambitious project was to be delayed. When the American delegation, consisting of three diplomats, arrived in Paris, they were treated very poorly by the Marquis of Talleyrand who had the gall to request personal compensation in order to intervene on their behalf. The American diplomats were so shocked by this turn of events that they returned immediately to America to report to Congress. Both parties in Congress spoke with one voice in condemning the French response to their genuine peace overture. So, the Quasi-War continued, and the French Navy continued seizing and sinking American merchant ships in the Caribbean.

Mayer especially didn’t want the Quasi-War to continue. He controlled the American monetary system, that of England, and indirectly that of France, and he didn’t want the three countries who were now under his financial control to be fighting each other. France, America and England were meant to become trading partners, and one navy was all that was needed, the English Navy. For now, it was urgent to finalize the Louisiana Purchase in order to compensate France.

After the signing of the Treaty of Mortefontaine with the USA and the Treaty of San Ildefonso with Spain in 1800, the Quasi-War came to an end. The promised Louisiana Purchase that had been the bait was completed in 1803, thanks to Mayer’s bank, the 1st Bank of the USA. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase, the thirteen Colonies had around seven million dollars in revenues, a 3.2-million-dollar deficit, and didn’t yet collect taxes. Naturally, it was Mayer’s bank that provided the funds according to Mayer’s wishes. The deal not only confirmed the First Bank of the United States’ status, but the Louisiana Purchase allowed Congress to open up the west.

To everyone’s surprise, when Congress offered to pay fifteen million dollars for the port of New Orleans, Napoleon sweetened the deal by throwing in at no extra charge all of the French possessions, including Rupert’s Land, a territory that in large part is Canada today. That was, indeed, a mind-boggling offer, and though Congress couldn’t believe its luck, it didn’t bother to question this ‘divine’ intervention. Then a straight line representing the 49th parallel was drawn across the continent by the same ‘divine’ power that had devised the Manifest Destiny concept. When Rupert’s Land north of the 49th parallel was joined to Lower Canada, the territory became in fact what is today Canada. America was on its way to becoming a coast to coast nation with Canada to the north, and Mexico to the south in spite of the fact there was still a strong Mexican presence north of the Rio Grande.

In 1803, Nathan let Bonaparte have the proceeds of the Louisiana Purchase as planned, and the latter crowned himself Emperor Napoleon at Notre-Dame Cathedral, in Paris, on December 2, 1804. The megalomaniac then gladly did what was expected of him, because in restructuring France politically he was ensuring his renown. He divided the country into departments and rammed through the Civil Code on March 21, 1805. It marked the beginning of the end for the Catholic Royalists who opposed it violently because it meant they no longer had legal recourse with regards to their confiscated property. Unperturbed, backed by Fouché’s dreaded state police, the Prefects ruled in the departments, and the mayors answered directly to them. France had become the centralist state that it is today.

The Louisiana Purchase was concluded in 1803, and Bonaparte having crowned himself Emperor Napoleon in 1804, Mayer advised Nathan, who was in charge of the dynasty’s affairs in the City, that it was a good time to get rid of what was left of the French Navy. Nathan then asked Ouvrard to do what was necessary to get Talleyrand to encourage Napoleon to put his plan to invade England into action. Napoleon then proceeded to work on his own clever plan to accomplish this. However, Nathan had his own plan. Like in the Battle of Aboukir in 1799, Nathan would keep abreast of Napoleon’s naval deployments, and when the French fleet would be at its most vulnerable, Nathan would leak the information to the English Admiralty who would be only too pleased to have Admiral Nelson finish the job started at Aboukir.

Since Aboukir, the French Navy had been rehabilitated by Latouche-Tréville, but surprisingly, it was Admiral Villeneuve, the same one who had fled at Aboukir, who was given command of the fleet. Napoleon’s plan was to send Villeneuve to the Caribbean, while making the English Admiralty think it was Latouche-Tréville who was headed for Egypt. Thanks to favorable winds, Napoleon’s deception worked. Villeneuve went to the Caribbean, and Nelson was sent to Egypt. By the time Nelson realized his mistake, Villeneuve had had time to rendezvous with other French units in the Caribbean thirty-two days ahead of Nelson’s arrival. Villeneuve’s Navy was shipshape, superior in fire power, and could have easily defeated Nelson, but instead of engaging the English fleet, Villeneuve took off for Boulogne-Sur-Mer where Napoleon and his Imperial Army were waiting. All the French ships from the now liberated French ports were to rendezvous at that port. Everything was going marvelously well for Napoleon when, for some unknown reason, Villeneuve was intercepted by some strange naval unit at sea. Thereafter, the French admiral made the worst decision possible, one that was as catastrophic as the one taken by de Brueys at Aboukir. Instead of continuing on to Boulogne, he turned back and headed south for the Spanish port of Cadiz. Understandably, Napoleon was furious at Villeneuve and immediately sent orders to have him removed from command. However, before receiving those orders, Villeneuve joined up with the Spanish fleet and went to attack Nelson’s fleet that had been spotted approaching from the west. Why on October 21, 1805, off Trafalgar, Villeneuve decided to attack Nelson in the worst possible weather conditions remains a mystery.

At the head of a disorganized Franco-Spanish fleet, practically in a dead calm, Villeneuve headed north to engage Nelson. When Nelson saw that Villeneuve’s ships were scattered six miles wide, he seized the opportunity and, contrary to tradition, he divided his fleet into two columns, one of which cut the Franco-Spanish fleet in two. That column went in at right angles, firing broadsides to port and starboard while remaining totally immune to enemy fire. The other column went northward and sank any enemy ship that decided to turn about and come to the rescue of the sister ships being attacked. The whole Franco-Spanish fleet was either sunk or captured. The score at Aboukir had been 13 to 0 in favor of Nelson, and now at Trafalgar it was 33 to 0 in his favor, notwithstanding the fact that he died after being shot by a French sailor from one of the damaged ships.

Nathan had to be very happy with the results, for that meant the Atlantic was now under the control of only one navy, the English Navy. The Atlantic community could now flourish. Napoleon abandoned his plan to invade England and was encouraged instead to go seek fame and fortune by attacking the Holy Roman Empire to the east. He was to personally keep all the spoils of victory, so, he was doubly motivated to go on the warpath. He defeated the Austrians in Italy and continued right into Austria where he defeated both Tsar Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II at Austerlitz in 1805. It marked the beginning of the end for all the Ancien Regime countries in Europe. A year later, the Holy Roman Empire east of the Rhine was abolished and replaced by the Confederation of the Rhine, with Napoleon as ‘protector’. Nonetheless, the Holy Roman Empire wasn’t completely done in, as we shall see later.

31-THE BATTLE OF THE NILE

In 1798, Nathan Rothschild moved to England to take over from the Goldsmid Brothers in the City. His first mission abroad was to strengthen the chain of command put in place by his father in France. Ouvrard, already Barras’ banker, would ask the latter to have Talleyrand come back from exile, and he in turn would become Bonaparte’s right-hand man. Nathan’s real mission was to destroy an annoying and useless French navy, which was sinking American merchant shipping in the Atlantic. Following the signing of Jay’s Treaty with England in 1793, a treaty that had de facto canceled the Treaty of Alliance of 1778 between the US and France, many Americans and French saw this as an act of betrayal on the part of Congress, and the French Directoire insisted that America return the 500 tons of gold that Louis XVI had sent to America in 1778.

Nathan’s plan was relatively simple. Since his return from the Italian campaign, Bonaparte had become too popular and a nuisance for Barras, so Nathan would kill two birds with one stone. Barras would get Talleyrand to return from his voluntary exile and act as an intermediary between Barras and Bonaparte, in order to convince him to go to Egypt. Now that the Terror was over, Talleyrand, seeing only advantages, accepted to return to France, and once at Bonaparte’s side, encouraged the latter to go to Egypt. When the time was right, Nathan would make sure the Admiralty of the English Navy was made aware of these developments. No doubt, the latter would be only too happy to go and sink the French fleet.

As expected, Bonaparte, seeing this mission as the one that would bring him fame and fortune, took off for Egypt. After having disembarked Bonaparte’s troops along the Egyptian coast, the French fleet dropped anchor while awaiting their return. When Nathan learned that Bonaparte had landed, he informed the Admiralty in London, and the British navy rushed to Egypt to sink the French navy which had humiliated them at Yorktown in 1781. A new war tactic was born, that of financing both sides of a conflict in order to get the desired results.

When Bonaparte went off to Egypt in early 1798, the Directorate had chosen Admiral de Brueys to command the fleet. Bonaparte had no choice but to accept this incompetent, boot-licking coward, but he wasn’t overly concerned, for all he wanted was to get as many men as he could to the other side of the Mediterranean. Bonaparte even sacrificed space and sailors aboard the ships in order to transport more soldiers. Bonaparte was quite eager to go to the Middle East. He must have dreamt of riches and glory in wanting to reclaim Palestine, and to dominate trade with India by constructing the Suez Canal. Pillaging Egypt was no doubt in the back of his mind as well.

Admiral Horatio Nelson was the one chosen by the English Admiralty to command the English Fleet. Nelson was taking the looming battle very personally and very seriously. Like most of his countrymen, he wanted to settle the score for what had happened at Yorktown. The English Naval defeat in 1781 had not gone down well, and Nelson had taken off with fourteen ships filled with hooligans hell-bent on killing frogs.

Meanwhile, after unloading Bonaparte’s army, De Brueys anchored down in the Bay of Aboukir. Although his naval force was inferior to that of Admiral de Brueys, Nelson was itching for a fight. When the English fleet was spotted in early afternoon on August 1st, 1798, by the artillery unit deployed on the heights dominating the entrance to the Bay of Aboukir, the Commandant of the French unit duly gave the alert, but there was no reaction on the part of Admiral de Brueys. His ships were at anchor, chained together from bow to stern, thus forming an impenetrable line of defense… or so he thought. Many of his more intrepid officers, Vice-Admiral Cheyla and others insisted he recall the sailors who were on shore and immediately take the offensive, for the favorable winds would have given them a decisive advantage. But he chose to do nothing as fourteen ships filled with vengeful, bloodthirsty Englishmen came bearing down on him.

Admiral de Brueys reasoned that it was 5:00 pm and too late in the day for the English to attack. He didn’t even see the need to position frigates at the head of his anchored fleet to stop Nelson from sailing behind his position. It was as though he had decided to self-destruct. The great admiral kept repeating that Nelson would not attack on that day. So, the canons were not in position, and the decks were cluttered with everything except cannon balls, powder, and artificers.

Upon seeing the French fleet in such a vulnerable position, Nelson kept on going and attacked the ships on both port and starboard sides simultaneously. The French fleet was blown out of the water, while Nelson’s ships remained unscathed. Admiral Villeneuve, who commanded the flotilla at the head of the line and who could have used the favorable winds to counterattack, decided to escape, thus saving two ships of the line and two frigates.

The Egyptian campaign thus began in defeat. The only good thing that came out of the whole campaign was due to the great number of scientists Bonaparte had brought along with him. They, at least, were responsible for some major scientific discoveries. Politically, Bonaparte left behind an efficient Egyptian governing body. However, with regards to the survey of the proposed Suez Canal, the plan to connect the Mediterranean with the Red Sea was stopped dead in its tracks. Because it was wrongly concluded that the waterway would require locks to operate and would be very expensive and take a long time to construct, it was abandoned. The survey report made clear that the Red Sea was 33ft higher than the Mediterranean, an error of monumental proportion.

Bonaparte had several costly victories in Palestine, but they all went for naught. He had accumulated tons of artifacts, but since he had no ships to bring them back to France, it turned out that it was the English Navy that eventually transported them to London. As for Bonaparte, leaving his army behind in Egypt, he took off for Paris. When he arrived, his propaganda machine had worked wonders, and he was again acclaimed as a hero. Thereafter, Barras quietly retired, and Bonaparte casually assumed power by declaring himself 1st Consul with Talleyrand by his side. It was now time to destroy the Holy Roman Empire east of the Rhine.