36-CIVIL WAR

Once the borders of America were permanently drawn, there was still a lot of work to be done. The southern agricultural economy was out of sync with the rest of the country, and while the City wanted it to join the vibrant market economy of the northern states, the south was talking secession. Geopolitically, there was no question of letting it secede, not to mention the fact that it had huge oil reserves. Industry needed oil and the City wasn’t about to let a few country gentlemen destroy its masterpiece, America. The south’s old structures had to be destroyed, but the problem was how to start the civil war. The south was not about to attack the north, for it didn’t have the means and didn’t have to. All it had to do was stay put and secede. So, if something was to be done, it was up to the North. As it so happened, slavery was a hot issue in the north, and the City backed the candidacy of Abraham Lincoln, a staunch advocate for National Union and racial equality. It was rather easy to get the northerners worked up over the issue of slavery, and they declared war the minute the south seceded from the Union. Slavery was the pretext but not the real issue, for history has shown that the north is every bit as racist as the south. That’s why when Abraham Lincoln declared war on the south in 1861, he clearly stated that it was to preserve the Union. That was the truth, and it was precisely what the City wanted.

At first, it seemed that Abraham Lincoln was doing the City’s bidding, and, presuming he was assassinated for political reasons, we could ask ourselves why the bankers wanted to get rid of him, if such was the case. Some say it was because, in 1862, in wanting to pay for the war, Lincoln had Congress pass the Legal Tender Act, thus giving Congress the right to print interest-free money. However, because the greenback had so little success, it was likely not the real reason. We don’t know whether the City printed counterfeit greenbacks in order to flood the market, or whether it directed its defunct First Bank of the United States not to accept them, but the end result was that the greenback was not well accepted and quickly depreciated. In 1863, Lincoln had had no choice but to reverse his position and sign the National Bank Act. Even though the greenbacks remained legal tender, the law re-established the status of the dollar, thus voiding the Legal Tender Act. So why, if such was the case, have Lincoln assassinated when the interest-free money problem no longer existed?

A plausible explanation for his assassination would be to say that Lincoln was just too nice a guy. We can be sure that the City had wanted to replace the archaic social structures of the Old south after the war, for that had been the whole purpose of the war. But because Lincoln wanted to let the southerners rebuild their lives as they saw fit, and since his only requirement was to have the southerners swear allegiance to the Union, he had to be stopped. The domino theory, where the establishment players do what they’re paid to do, played out, and someone, who wanted to do what was best for America, proceeded to do just that. After winning the 1864 election by a landslide, Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th, 1865. The carpetbaggers, most of them lawyers and businessmen loaded with cash, were immediately unleashed, taking the south by storm. They purchased the abandoned lands, opened businesses and banks, constructed railroads, and last but not least, started running the local governments. America was now officially the United States of America.

35-MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR, 1846

Establishing the US-Mexican border was done in two stages. The City first helped the Mexicans achieve their independence from Spain in 1821 by having the US and England give them a hand. The Mexican-American War of 1846 was the second stage. That’s when Lionel, Head of Mayer’s dynasty in the City, decided to get the US Congress to send an expedition of US troops to Mexico. It was a simple plan. Congress would send US troops to occupy Mexico City in order to force Mexico to relinquish its claims with regards to Texas and other parts of the south. The troops would remain there until the Mexicans cried uncle, and signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The treaty called for the U.S. to pay $15 million to Mexico and to pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to $3.25 million. It gave the United States the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California and a large area comprising roughly half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexicans in those annexed areas were ordered to be removed from their homeland unless they declared loyalty to the US government. Over 90% chose to pledge loyalty in exchange for not losing their homes.

The border keeping the French Catholics and the English Loyalists north of the 49th parallel was defined by the Oregon Treaty of 1846. After drawing a straight line along the 49th parallel in the north, and another along the Rio Grande extending to the Pacific Ocean in the south, the Manifest Destiny concept became a reality. America was a white, English-speaking and Protestant country from coast to coast, with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The US Spanish speaking population chose to become Americans, and the recalcitrant Indians were relocated on reserves.

In America, the first locomotive was built in 1830, but transportation remained limited to steam boats, canals, rudimentary roads and short rail systems east of the Mississippi. The Oregon Trail had become a very primitive way to go west after the Louisiana Purchase, but that didn’t favor California. Now that the Spanish administration and troops were on their way back to Spain, Lionel, head of the City banking dynasty, found the ideal way to populate California with ‘Americans’. He had been waiting for this moment to start a gold rush. He had known there was gold in California, and since the telegraph had been clicking away throughout America and Europe since 1844, it was just a matter of letting everybody know there was a lot of gold waiting to be picked up off the ground in California. Some 300 000 individuals moved in, easily displacing, when not massacring, the native populations, and overwhelming the Catholic Spanish speaking population. California went straight into statehood. As a bonus, close to 4000t of gold was produced, bought up, and stockpiled in the City’s vaults.

29-TAKEOVER IN THE CITY

Prior to sending Bonaparte to Egypt in 1799, Mayer, who now controlled the English monetary system, had wanted to end the Quasi-War by destroying the very royalist and redundant French Navy. Because the Goldsmid Bros., who represented Mayer’s interests in the City, didn’t have the drive and energy to get the job done, Mayer decided to send Nathan, his very capable 21 year-old son, to England and take charge of things. If Bonaparte was to be instrumental in stopping the Quasi-War, it had to be done without his knowledge, and since he was a dangerous megalomaniac, he had to be handled with care. Under his father’s direction, Nathan had told Ouvrard, to do whatever was necessary to get Talleyrand and Barras to send young Bonaparte on his Egyptian campaign, and we know the results of that campaign.

The Quasi-War had to do with 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 a Treaty of Alliance in 1778, and Jay’s Treaty was technically superseding that agreement. The French and many Americans had been incensed. It had been seen as a treacherous act by both the US Congress and the Directorate in France. Naturally, the French revolutionaries insisted on the return of the 500 tons of French gold given to America in 1778. However, Congress didn’t have any way of doing that, for as far as it was concerned, the gold was all spent.

In trying to avoid retaliation by the French, Mayer had asked Morris to get Congress to send an American delegation to Paris to negotiate a repayment scheme involving the purchase of Louisiana. Mayer was proposing a plan on how to broker a deal between America and France. If America bought Louisiana from France, the latter would receive a huge sum of money in compensation, and the Quasi-War would stop. But first, 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. Barras was to get Talleyrand to have the Spanish sign a treaty. He was to promise the Spanish that the half of San Domingo that belonged to them and was presently occupied by France would be returned to them in exchange for New Orleans. Once this was done, he would get the Americans to buy the whole of Louisiana from the French, and it would more than compensate for France’s generosity in 1778.

However, 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. Meanwhile, the French Navy started seizing and sinking American merchant ships in the Caribbean, while the fledgling US Navy retaliated as best it could. That’s where things stood in late 1797, and from Mayer’s point of view, the Quasi-War had to be stopped before it escalated.

Mayer didn’t want the English Navy getting involved in the Quasi-War. He controlled the American monetary system, that of England through the Goldsmid Bros., 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 was definitely not an enemy, but its very powerful royalist navy was a real nuisance, for it was hampering trade in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. America, England and France were unofficially trading partners, and one navy was all that was needed, the English Navy. If the Quasi-War was to be nipped in the bud, the French Royalist Navy had to be destroyed.

In France, Mayer had directed Ouvrard to finance both Barras and Talleyrand, his main advisor. Mayer was happy with the Barras-Talleyrand team, for such individuals were easily bought and disposed of. But it was time to start thinking about having a strong man to replace them. Bonaparte would take over from Barras, and his son Nathan, the pugnacious one, would take over from the Goldsmid Bros. in the City.

In order to ensure his anonymity, when Nathan first arrived in England, he set himself up as a textile merchant from Frankfurt. By 1810, he was the wealthiest banker in the City, and he was setting the price of gold for the whole world on a daily basis. Maybe the expression ‘rags to riches’ was inspired by Nathan’s apparent exploit. In fact, Mayer had wanted to make sure Nathan didn’t have any official ties with him or the First Bank of the United States. When Nathan opened his bank in the City, using his own name, all possible ties to his father, the First Bank of the United States, and the French real estate scam disappeared. Nobody would ever know where all that power, wealth and gold came from. Anonymity was the key to success.

Other than wanting to do a good job and making his father proud, Nathan had another pressing personal matter. He had been introduced to two families in London, and though it had been Moses Elias Montefiore’s family that had taken him in, Nathan had closer ties to the Levy-Barent Cohen family from when he was 18. In 1795, on a trip to America with his father and brothers, they had stopped over in London, and that’s when Nathan had met Hannah Cohen who was 12 at the time. When he arrived in London in 1798, he was quite anxious to see the girl he had dreamt about during all those years.

He lost no time in founding a family. In 1806 he married Hannah Cohen, in 1808 Lionel was born, and in 1809 he moved to St. Swithin’s Lane in New Court, where he proceeded to set up the official home of his banking dynasty. But first, Nathan had to take over from the Goldsmid Bros.

He was helped by destiny in that 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 to be the last Jew in his family, and that no doubt 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. He had bought £14,000,000 of Government Consols, and in order to do so he had contracted a sizeable loan with the East India Company in Amsterdam. In 1810, for reasons unknown to the public, the East India Company called in Abraham’s loan. That of course forced him to sell the Consols at a loss, thus making him suffer a huge loss that resulted in the insolvency of the firm. Abraham honorably 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.

Nathan was a very able and energetic young man. The French Navy was given a serious blow at Aboukir in 1799, and was completely wiped out at Trafalgar in 1805. He ended the Quasi-War by arranging the Louisiana Purchase and making funds available to the US Congress regarding the actual purchase. The proceeds of that sale were given to Bonaparte who immediately crowned himself Emperor Napoleon. Napoleon then turned France into an orderly centralist state before taking off and defeating the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz. By 1810, Napoleon had served his purpose, and it was time to get rid of him. But Nathan thought he could use him one last time by sending him to Russia in order to force the Tsar to open the country to gold mining companies. There would always be time to get rid of Napoleon.

24-MANIFEST DESTINY

 

Mayer went to meet with Benjamin who had just arrived from France. Although Mayer was much younger than this great man, they shared the same ideals for America, and having gone through so much, and after being so successful, they greeted each other as old friends. They had enjoyed the time they had spent together before Benjamin left for France, and again when they had met in Paris. They couldn’t wait to have another tête-à-tête which they arranged to have the day after the official welcoming festivities for Benjamin.

Benjamin’s German hadn’t improved much, but Mayer had since picked up an English word here and there, and they struggled along in a pot-pourri of German and English. They didn’t want anyone to be privy to their conversation, and therefore, they decided they would make do without an interpreter.

Mayer started by congratulating Benjamin on his great diplomatic achievement. He had singlehandedly seduced the whole of France thanks to his fake frontiersman style and his many scientific breakthroughs that had been published prior to his arrival. After the battles of Trenton and Saratoga, he had succeeded in getting the Treaty of Alliance signed. Mayer also wanted to congratulate Benjamin on his masterful use of Morris Notes sent to him in Paris in order to pay Abraham Lazard who was supplying arms to Schiff in Rotterdam. Thanks to him, David had channeled vast quantities of French arms to the Colonies. In other words, Mayer wanted to let him know that without him, the victory at Yorktown, the founding of the Bank of North America and the about-to-be-signed Constitution would have been impossible.

Benjamin was well aware of his accomplishments in his desire to achieve independence for his country, but he wondered about the future of the Bank of North America. He knew that Robert Morris, according to Mayer’s wishes, had used the French gold that had been in Haym’s possession to capitalize that bank, and he wanted to know how it had fared since it received a charter in 1781.

Mayer felt the need to justify the fact that he was now in control of America’s monetary system. He started by saying that the Bank of North America was doing very well, and through Morris, his newly chosen front man, Mayer did indeed control America’s monetary system. He admitted it was making him very rich and powerful, but past a certain point, being rich was of no consequence. The only thing that mattered was buying and accumulating more gold bullion in order to solidify the burgeoning economy. The accumulation of gold was a self-propelling concept. It allowed the central bank to create more credit, make greater profits with which to buy more gold. There were, however, two main problems. Getting more gold out of the ground was limited by current technology, and financial anonymity had to be guaranteed at all cost.

He wanted to assure Benjamin that wealth didn’t impact his private life, and never would. He was interested in what money couldn’t buy. He lived in a ghetto in Frankfurt with his people, a crammed space that he was proud to call home, and he had the most wonderful wife who had given him six adorable and healthy children, and that was what made him happy. He had friends he could trust with his life and that of his family, and with Benjamin by his side, he was building a grand and beautiful new country. He couldn’t dream of being happier and having a more fulfilled life.

If properly used, credit made everybody richer, especially ordinary citizens. That was the beauty of an independent monetary system. Mayer intended to do everything in his power to create more central banks, a task his sons would no doubt pursue. When lending to a government the only objective was that of achieving the greatest prosperity for all. The supplier of credit and the spender couldn’t be one and the same. Congressmen were elected for a short period of time, and their thinking centered on their personal concerns, and in wanting to get re-elected and enjoy the good life, their greed and ambition only stifled national economic growth. Supplying credit made the banker rich, but in order for that to happen, credit had to stimulate growth in the whole system, and that’s why a private banker such as himself did everything in his power to keep the system private and growing. It was a win-win concept for humanity, but only if the banker and the spender remained separate and distinct.

Benjamin, who had spent a lifetime trying to establish a monetary system, knew that Mayer was right. Mayer repeated what they had already discussed in the past. The private banker as sole lender controlled the supply of credit by continually adjusting the rate of interest, and by controlling the supply of credit, he could then control prices through the stock exchange. What mattered most was to keep the economy stable while letting it grow at a measured pace. Benjamin was indeed impressed by this younger man who exuded so much strength, knowledge and assurance.

The subject then turned to France. Benjamin had much to say, and Mayer had much to learn. Benjamin felt that France was a kettle ready to boil over. The Masonic Lodges were growing like wild fire throughout France, and since Wilhelmsbad, the orientation of the lodges had changed in order to cater to lay people. One no longer had to swear on the Catholic bible in order to become a Mason. The change had opened the door to the Huguenots who were infiltrating France from England, Holland and Germany. Somebody was pushing for change in France, and that initiative seemed to be originating in London. Benjamin was quite sure the English bankers were out to destroy France from the inside. People like Mirabeau and many others had been talking about a Constitutional Monarchy like that of England for some time.

It seemed that Versailles was creating a problem. The King was completely isolated and surrounded by his aristocratic cronies in a lush setting while a starving Paris grumbled. Benjamin had personally felt this unrest in Paris in spite of the fact that Versailles was now occupied by Louis XVI and his young wife, a rather congenial couple.

Mayer was overwhelmed by this man’s observations, and he listened to his every word. But now he had to give Benjamin some bad news. When the Peace Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the British armed forces had left North America, the lands east of the Mississippi River were ceded to the Americans, and France was officially made America’s major trading partner. Now, two years later, America’s economy was bursting at the steams and needed a stronger trading partner. Because of turmoil in France, Mayer thought that a formal trade agreement with England had to supersede the Treaty of Alliance that Benjamin had ratified in Paris in 1778. He knew that the French and the American citizenry would be very upset with what they would deem treachery, which it was in fact, and Mayer wondered if Benjamin could accept to work with him in getting such a trade agreement signed. Mayer saw it as an urgent matter, and a logical thing to do. America was mainly white, English-speaking and Protestant just like England, and the two countries had historical economic and cultural ties.

Benjamin was truly taken aback by this suggestion and remained quiet for the longest time. His natural inclination was to feel mistrust for a man who could suggest such betrayal. But because he knew Mayer was right in that they had no control over what was happening in France, and because he truly trusted this unusual man, he dismissed his gut reaction. He knew that Mayer felt the same way he did about France, and that he felt very bad about not honoring the intent of the Treaty of Alliance, even though it hadn’t been an official trade agreement. Reluctantly, he had to agree with Mayer. A trade agreement with England was necessary. Mayer, and later his dynasty, would see to it that France receive top consideration in economic and cultural development, no matter what. For now, Mayer would personally see to it that France got all the help it needed in order for it to become a democracy.

Mayer told Benjamin that if Congress was to be receptive to their ideas, his help was sorely needed. Although he was thinking of retirement, he urged him to accept the seat he was being offered in the Senate. With him sitting in the Senate, and Alexander Hamilton controlling finances under Morris’ leadership, they could easily steer the ship. It was the only way to successfully address the pressing matters facing the 13 Colonies. It was urgent to unite the 13 Colonies by getting a constitution signed, a President elected, and permanent residences built for both the President and Congress.

While Benjamin was away in France, Morris had taken Alexander Hamilton, under his wing. He had him study law before getting him elected as a representative of New York. Alexander turned out to be a prominent orator in the NY Congress that was presently sitting, and had written impressive papers that had led to the ratification of the Declaration of Independence by New York. This same young man was now in the process of drafting the constitution with Madison, and he had Morris’ complete backing.

As for the ceded lands, since the individual Colonies had claims on them, Mayer had asked Robert Morris to forgive their war debts on condition that they sign over their rights to Congress, and it seemed to be working. There wasn’t much doubt that all would accept, and in so doing, they would be accepting Congress as the Federal authority. That in turn would open the door to their accepting a residence for both the President and Congress up the Potomac River somewhere. Benjamin admired a man who could plan such an innocent yet far-reaching subterfuge, and he told Mayer so.

Once the Constitution was ratified and George Washington was elected President, and the Colonies’ war debts were forgiven in exchange for an agreement on a permanent residence for the President and Congress, there were long range plans that would need to be addressed. In the Paris Treaty of 1763, the French had repatriated its administration and its military leaving Canada to the English. With the Paris Treaty of 1783, the English had done likewise with regards to the USA. It was therefore time to start thinking of the territorial expansion of the USA. France was in great need of money, and a way to repay France for 1778 was to offer it a sizable sum of money for its land possessions that stretched from New Orleans to Hudson Bay and to the west right up to and including the prairies. The payment would be a way to avoid any future conflict while making a gesture of reconciliation. Mayer would find a way to arrange and finance such a sale, a purchase that Congress would be only too happy to agree to. The huge buffer zone to the north would become a country north of the 49th parallel, and that would let the USA free to expand westward along that parallel. In time, once the Americans were well established east of the Mississippi and had a stable government, the Spanish problem to the south could be addressed. The Spanish administration along with its army would be forced to go home just like the French and the English had been. Once the Rio Grande was established as the country’s southern border, the new states would be added one by one, and the USA would become a coast-to-coast nation, from Canada to Mexico. Unlike Europe, it would be a united country in which one language, one race and one religion dominated. It was meant to become the greatest nation on earth, and they both agreed.