THE HISTORY OF MONEY PART 1
Let's Go FORWARD
Tell someone you are going to a convention of accountants and you might get a few yawns, yet money and how it works is probably one of the most interesting things on earth.
It is fascinating and almost magical how money appeared on our planet. Unlike most developments we enjoy, which can be traced back to a source, civilisation or inventor, money appeared in places then unconnected all over the world in a remarkably simular way.
Consider the American Indians using Wampum, West Africans trading in decorative metallic objects called Manillas and the Fijians economy based on whales teeth, some of which are still legal tender; add to that shells, amber, ivory, decorative feathers, cattle including oxen & pigs, a large number of stones including jade and quartz which have all been used for trade across the world, and we get a taste of the variety of accepted currency.
There is something charming and childlike imagining primitive societies, our ancestors, using all these colourful forms of money. As long as everyone concerned can agree on a value, this is a sensible thing for a community to do.
After all, the person who has what you need might not need what you have to trade. Money solves that problem neatly. Real value with each exchange, and everyone gaining from the convenience. The idea is really inspired which might explain why so many diverse minds came up with it.
BUT ALL IS NOT WELL
"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance."
President James Madison
Money, money, money, it's always just been there, right? Wrong.
Obviously it's issued by the government to make it easy for us to exchange things. Wrong again!
Truth is most people don't realise that the issuing of money is essentially a private business, and that the privilege of issuing money has been a major bone of contention throughout history.
Wars have been fought and depressions have been caused in the battle over who issues the money; however the majority of us are not aware of this, and this is largely due to the fact that the winning side became and increasingly continues to be a vital and respected member of our global society, having an influence over large aspects of our lives including our education, our media and our governments.
While we might feel powerless in trying to stop the manipulation of money for private profit at our expense, it is easy to forget that we collectively give money its value. We have been taught to believe printed pieces of paper have special value, and because we know others believe this too, we are willing to work all our lives to get what we are convinced others will want.
An honest look at history will show us how our innocent trust has been misused.
Let's start our exploration of money with:
JESUS FLIPS (many coins) 33 A.D.
Jesus was so upset by the sight of the money changers in the temple, he waded in and started to tip over the tables and drive them out with a whip, this being the one and only time we ever hear of him using force during his entire ministry.
So what caused the ultimate pacifist to become so aggressive?
For a long time the Jews had been called upon to pay their temple tax with a special coin called the half shekelshekel. It was a measured half ounce of pure silver with no image of a pagan emperor on it.
It was to them the only coin acceptable to God.
But because there was only a limited number of these coins in circulation, the money changers were in a buyers market and like with anything else in short supply, they were able to raise the price to what the market would bear.
They made huge profits with their monopoly on these coins and turned this time of devotion into a mockery for profit. Jesus saw this as stealing from the people and proclaimed the whole setup to be. "A den of thieves". 1
Once money is accepted as a form of exchange, those who produce, loan out and manipulate the quantity of money are obviously in a very strong position. They are the "Money Changers".
1. King James NT, Mt 21:13, Mr 11:17, Lu 19:46
MEDIEVAL ENGLAND (1000 - 1100 A.D.)
Here we find goldsmith's offering to keep other people's gold and silver safe in their vaults, and in return people walking away with a receipt for what they have left there.
These paper receipts soon became popular for trade as they were less heavy to carry around than gold and silver coins.
After a while, the goldsmith's must have noticed that only a small percentage of their depositor's ever came in to demand their gold at any one time. So cleverly the goldsmith's made out some receipts for gold which didn't even exist, and then they loaned it out to earn interest.
A nod and a wink amongst themselves, they incorporated this practice into the banking system. They even gave it a name to make it seem more acceptable, christening the practice 'Fractional Reserve Banking' which translates to mean, lending out many times more money than you have assets on deposit.
Today banks are allowed to loan out at least ten times the amount they actually are holding, so while you wonder how they get rich charging you 11% interest, it's not 11% a year they make on that amount but actually 110%.
THE TALLY STICKS (1100 - 1854)
King Henry the First produced sticks of polished wood, with notches cut along one edge to signify the denominations. The stick was then split full length so each piece still had a record of the notches.
The King kept one half for proof against counterfeiting, and then spent the other half into the market place where it would continue to circulate as money.
Because only Tally Sticks were accepted by Henry for payment of taxes, there was a built in demand for them, which gave people confidence to accept these as money.
He could have used anything really, so long as the people agreed it had value, and his willingness to accept these sticks as legal tender made it easy for the people to agree. Money is only as valuable as peoples faith in it, and without that faith even today's money is just paper.
The tally stick system worked really well for 726 years. It was the most successful form of currency in recent history and the British Empire was actually built under the Tally Stick system, but how is it that most of us are not aware of its existence?
Perhaps the fact that in 1694 the Bank of England at its formation attacked the Tally Stick System gives us a clue as to why most of us have never heard of them. They realised it was money outside the power of the money changers, (the very thing King Henry had intended).
What better way to eliminate the vital faith people had in this rival currency than to pretend it simply never existed and not discuss it. That seems to be what happened when the first shareholder's in the Bank of England bought their original shares with notched pieces of wood and retired the system. You heard correctly, they bought shares. The Bank of England was set up as a privately owned bank through investors buying shares. Even the Banks resent nationalisation is not what it at first may appear, as its independent resources unceasingly multiply and dividends continue to be produced for its shareholder's.
These investors, who's names were kept secret, were meant to invest one and a quarter million pounds, but only three quarters of a million was received when it was chartered in 1694.
It then began to lend out many times more than it had in reserve, collecting interest on the lot.
This is not something you could just impose on people without preparation. The money changers needed to created the climate to make the formation of this private concern seem acceptable.
Here's how they did it.
With King Henry VIII relaxing the Usury Laws in the 1500's, the money changers flooded the market with their gold and silver coins becoming richer by the minute.
The English Revolution of 1642 was financed by the money changers backing Oliver Cromwell's successful attempt to purge the parliament and kill King Charles. What followed was 50 years of costly wars. Costly to those fighting them and profitable to those financing them.
So profitable that it allowed the money changers to take over a square mile of property still known as the City of London, which remains one of the three main financial centres in the world today.
The 50 years of war left England in financial ruin. The government officials went begging for loans from guess who, and the deal proposed resulted in a government sanctioned, privately owned bank which could produce money from nothing, essentially legally counterfeiting a national currency for private gain.
Now the politicians had a source from which to borrow all the money they wanted to borrow, and the debt created was secured against public taxes.
You would think someone would have seen through this, and realised they could produce their own money and owe no interest, but instead the Bank of England has been used as a model and now nearly every nation has a Central Bank with fractional reserve banking at its core.
These central banks have the power to take over a nations economy and become that nations real governing force. What we have here is a scam of mammoth proportions covering what is actually a hidden tax, being collected by private concerns.
The country sells bonds to the bank in return for money it cannot raise in taxes. The bonds are paid for by money produced from thin air. The government pays interest on the money it borrowed by borrowing more money in the same way. There is no way this debt can ever be paid, it has and will continue to increase.
If the government did find a way to pay off the debt, the result would be that there would be no bonds to back the currency, so to pay the debt would be to kill the currency.
With its formation the Bank of England soon flooded Britain with money. With no quality control and no insistence on value for money, prices doubled with money being thrown in every direction.
One company was even offering to drain the Red Sea to find Egyptian gold lost when the sea closed in on their pursuit of Moses.
By1698 the national debt expanded from £1,250,000 to £16,000,000 and up went the taxes the debt was secured on.
As hard as it might be to believe, in times of economic upheaval, wealth is rarely destroyed and instead is often only transferred. And who benefits the most when money is scarce? You may have guessed. It's those controlling what everyone else wants, the money changer's.
When the majority of people are suffering through economic depression, you can be sure that a minority of people are continuing to get rich.
Even today the Bank of England expresses its determination to prevent the ups and downs of booms and depressions, yet there have been nothing but ups and downs since its formation with the British pound rarely being stable.
One thing however has been stable and that is the growing fortune of:
THE ROTHSCHILDS (1743)
A goldsmith named Amshall Moses Bower opened a counting house in Frankfurt Germany in 1743. He placed a Roman eagle on a red shield over the door prompting people to call his shop the Red Shield Firm pronounced in German as "Rothschild".
His son later changed his name to Rothschild when he inherited the business. Loaning money to individuals was all well and good but he soon found it much more profitable loaning money to governments and Kings. It always involved much bigger amounts, always secured from public taxes.
Once he got the hang of things he set his sights on the world by training his five sons in the art of money creation, before sending them out to the major financial centres of the world to create and dominate the central banking systems.
J.P. Morgan was thought by many to be the richest man in the world during the second world war, but upon his death it was discovered he was merely a lieutenant within the Rothschild empire owning only 19% of the J.P. Morgan Companies.
"There is but one power in Europe and that is Rothschild."
19th century French commentator 1
We will explore a little more about the richest family a little later, after we've had a look at:
1. Niall Ferguson, THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD, Money's Prophets, 1798-1848
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (1764 - 1781)
By the mid 1700's Britain was at its height of power, but was also heavily in debt.
Since the creation of the Bank of England, they had suffered four costly wars and the total debt now stood at £140,000,000, (which in those days was a lot of money).
In order to make their interest payments to the bank, the British government set about a programme to try to raise revenues from their American colonies, largely through an extensive programme of taxation.
There was a shortage of material for minting coins in the colonies, so they began to print their own paper money, which they called Colonial Script. This provided a very successful means of exchange and also gave the colonies a sense of identity. Colonial Script was money provided to help the exchange of goods. It was debt free paper money not backed by gold or silver.
During a visit to Britain in 1763, The Bank of England asked Benjamin Franklin how he would account for the new found prosperity in the colonies. Franklin replied.
"That is simple. In the colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Script. We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers.
In this manner, creating for ourselves our own paper money, we control its purchasing power, and we have no interest to pay to no one."
Benjamin Franklin 1
America had learned that the people's confidence in the currency was all they needed, and they could be free of borrowing debts. That would mean being free of the Bank of England.
In Response the world's most powerful independent bank used its influence on the British parliament to press for the passing of the Currency Act of 1764.
This act made it illegal for the colonies to print their own money, and forced them to pay all future taxes to Britain in silver or gold.
Here is what Franklin said after that.
"In one year, the conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity ended, and a depression set in, to such an extent that the streets of the Colonies were filled with unemployed."
"The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction. The inability of the colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the international bankers was the PRIME reason for the Revolutionary War."
Benjamin Franklin's autobiography
By the time the war began on 19th April 1775 much of the gold and silver had been taken by British taxation. They were left with no other choice but to print money to finance the war.
What is interesting here is that Colonial Script was actually working so well, it became a threat to the established economic system of the time.
The idea of issuing money as Franklin put it "in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry" and not charging any interest, was not causing any problems or inflation. This unfortunately was alien to the Bank of England which only issued money for the sake of making a profit for its shareholder's.
1. Congressman Charles G. Binderup of Nebraska, Unrobing the Ghosts of Wall Street
THE BANK OF NORTH AMERICA (1781-1785)
If you can't beat them, join them, might well have been his argument when arms dealer, Robert Morris suggested he be allowed to set up a Bank of England style central bank in the USA in 1781.
Desperate for money, the $400,000 he proposed to deposit, to allow him to loan out many times that through fractional reserve banking, must have looked really attractive to the impoverished American Government.
Already spending the money they would be loaned, no one made a fuss when Robert Morris couldn't raise the deposit, and instead suggested he might use some gold, which had been loaned to America from France.
Once in, he simply used fractional reserve banking, and with the banks growing fortune he loaned to himself, and his friends the money to buy up all the remaining shares. The bank then began to loan out money multiplied by this new amount to eager politicians, who were probably too drunk with the new 'power cash' to notice or care how it was done.
The scam lasted five years until in 1785, with the value of American money dropping like a lead balloon. The banks charter didn't get renewed.
The shareholder's walking off with the interest did not go unnoticed by the governor.
"The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did. They always will... They will have the same effect here as elsewhere, if we do not, by (the power of) government, keep them in their proper spheres."
Governor Morris 1
1. THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1787, 7/2
FIRST BANK OF THE UNITED STATES (1791-1811)
It worked once, it will work again. It's been six years. There are a lot of new hungry politicians. Let's give it a try. And so there it was, in 1791, the First Bank of the United States (BUS). Not only deceptively named to sound official, but also to take attention away from the real first bank which had been shut down.
Its initials however gave a clear indication that Americans were once again being taken for a ride. And true to its British model, the name of the investors was never revealed.
Having gotten away with it a second time, some of them probably wished Amshall Rothschild had picked a different time to make his pronouncement from his private central bank in Frankfurt.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws."
Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 1790
Not to worry, no one was listening, the American government borrowed 8.2 million dollars from the bank in the first 5 years and prices rose by 72%. This time round the money changer's had learned their lesson, they had guaranteed a twenty year charter.
The president, who could see an ever increasing debt, with no chance of ever paying back, had this to say.
"I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution - taking from the federal government their power of borrowing."
Thomas Jefferson, 1798
While the independent press, who had not been bought off yet, called the scam "a great swindle, a vulture, a viper, and a cobra."
As with the real first bank, the government had been the only depositor to put up any real money, with the remainder being raised from loans the investors made to each other, using the magic of fractional reserve banking.
When time came for renewal of the charter, the bankers were warning of bad times ahead if they didn't get what they wanted. The charter was not renewed.
Five month later Britain had attacked America and started the war of 1812.
Meanwhile a short time earlier, an independent Rothschild business, the Bank of France, was being looked upon with suspicion by none other than:
NAPOLEON (1803 - 1825)
He didn't trust the bank saying:
"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes... Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain."
Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815
For both sides of a war to be loaned money from the same privately owned Central Bank is not unusual. Nothing generates debt like war. A Nation will borrow any amount to win. So naturally if the loser is kept going to the last straw in a vain hope of winning, then the more resources will be used up by the winning side before their victory is obtained more resources used, more loans taken out, more money made by the bankers; and even more amazing, the loans are usually given on condition that the victor pays the debts left by the loser.
In 1803, instead of borrowing from the bank, Napoleon sold territory west of the Mississippi to the 3rd President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson for 3 million dollars in gold; a deal known as the Louisiana Purchase.
Three million dollars richer, Napoleon quickly gathered together an army and set about conquering much of Europe.
Each place he went to, Napoleon found his opposition being financed by the Bank of England, making huge profits as Prussia, Austria and finally Russia all went heavily into debt trying to stop him.
Four years later, with the main French army in Russia, Nathan Rothschild took charge of a bold plan to smuggle a shipment of gold through France to finance an attack from Spain by the Duke of Wellington.
Wellington's attack from the south and other defeats eventually forced Napoleon into exile. However in 1815 he escaped from his banishment in Elba, an Island off the coast of Italy, and returned to Paris.
By March of that year Napoleon had equipped an army with the help of borrowed money from the Eubard Banking House of Paris.
With 74,000 French troops led by Napoleon, sizing up to meet 67,000 British and other European Troops 200 miles NE of Paris on June 18th 1815, it was a difficult one to call. Back in London, the real potential winner, Nathan Rothschild, was poised to strike in a bold plan to take control of the British stock market, the bond market, and possibly even the Bank of England.
Nathan, knowing that information is power, stationed his trusted agent named Rothworth near the battle field.
As soon as the battle was over Rothworth quickly returned to London, delivering the news to Rothschild 24 hours ahead of Wellington's courier.
A victory by Napoleon would have devastated Britain's financial system. Nathan stationed himself in his usual place next to an ancient pillar in the stock market.
This powerful man was not without observers as he hung his head, and began openly to sell huge numbers of British Government Bonds.
Reading this to mean that Napoleon must have won, everyone started to sell their British Bonds as well.
The bottom fell out of the market until you couldn't hardly give them away. Meanwhile Rothschild began to secretly buy up all the hugely devalued bonds at a fraction of what they were worth a few hours before.
In this way Nathan Rothschild captured more in one afternoon than the combined forces of Napoleon and Wellington had captured in their entire lifetime.
THE HISTORY OF MONEY PART2
BACK TO HOME PAGE