Mayer Amschel Rothschild was born in 1744 in the Judengasse, in Frankfurt. His father had a business in goods-trading and currency exchange. He was a personal supplier of collectable coins to the Prince of Hesse.
With the help of relatives, Mayer Amschel secured an apprenticeship under Jacob Wolf Oppenheimer, at the banking firm of Simon Wolf Oppenheimer in Hanover, in 1757, where he acquired useful knowledge in foreign trade and currency exchange, before returning to his brothers' business in Frankfurt in 1763. He became a dealer in rare coins and won the patronage of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Hesse (who had also earlier patronised his father). His coin business grew to include a number of princely patrons, and then expanded through the provision of financial services to Crown Prince Wilhelm. In 1769, Mayer Amschel gained the title of "Court Agent", managing the finances of the immensely wealthy Elector of Hesse-Cassel who became Wilhelm IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel in 1785. Business expanded rapidly following the French Revolution when Rothschild handled payments from Britain for the hire of Hessian mercenaries.
By the early years of the 19th century, Rothschild had consolidated his position as principal international banker to Wilhelm IX and began to issue his own international loans, borrowing capital from the Landgrave. In 1806, Napoleon invaded Hesse in response to Wilhelm's support for Prussia. The Landgrave went into exile in the Duchy of Holstein, but Rothschild was able to continue as his banker, investing funds in London. He also profited from importing goods in circumvention of Napoleon's continental blockade. As a result of these dealings, Mayer Amschel amassed a not inconsiderable fortune and, in 1810, renamed his firm M A Rothschild und Söhne, establishing a partnership with his four sons still in Frankfurt, (his son Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836) having already established a business in Manchester and London).
The five sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild
Nathan Mayer Rothschild’s increasingly successful business provided a model for his brothers back in Frankfurt. In 1812, James Mayer Rothschild (1792-1868) established a banking house in Paris. Salomon Mayer Rothschild (1774-1855) settled in Vienna in 1820. Carl Mayer Rothschild (1788-1855) set up business in Naples in 1821, leaving Amschel Mayer (1773-1855), to head the Frankfurt bank. From these roots, the Rothschild banking business spread out across much of Europe becoming the most successful international bankers of the age. The core banking business is today in the hands of the seventh generation of Rothschilds.
The Rothschild’s story of power and riches began with the humble beginnings of its founder, Mayer Rothschild. Born in 1744, Mayer Rothschild was raised in a Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt, Germany. During that era, Jews were legally required to live in small communities that were distant from Christians. They were also not allowed to leave their villages on Christian holidays, Sundays or at night.
As a child, Rothschild lived in a full house with about 30 other family members. Rothschild learned about the business world at an early age—his father, Amschel Moses Rothschild, traded coins, silk and other commodities for a living. One of Amschel Rothschild's clients was the Prince of Hesse.
Mayer Rothschild became an orphan at the age of 12 following the death of his mother. His father had died from smallpox the year before. Before their passing, Rothschild’s parents wanted their son to study Jewish teaching to become a Rabbi. However, he decided to take on an apprenticeship with a banking firm in Hanover, Germany shortly after turning thirteen. The firm was operated by Court Jews who furnished credit to European royalty. During his time there, Rothschild learned the ins and outs of banking and foreign trade.
Rothschild Banking Empire is Formed
Rothschild returned to his hometown, Frankfurt, when he turned 19-years-old. He along with his brothers continued the commodities and money trading business that their father started. Rothschild also continued his career as a court Jew. By 1769, Rothschild was given the title "Crown Agent" which helped to further establish him as a credible Court Jew among German royalty. He provided banking services to a number of nobles in Europe including Crown Prince Wilhelm of Hesse, who later became the continent's richest man. In 1770, Rothschild married the daughter of another Court Jew. The dowry received from the marriage helped to increase Rothschild's wealth. The couple had ten children–five sons and five daughters. All of their sons later contributed to expanding the Rothschild banking empire.
Expanding and Controlling the Rothschild Footprint
The Rothschild banking empire benefited tremendously from the French Revolution. During the war, the Austrian army contracted Rothschild to supply it with a range of items including wheat, uniforms, horses, and equipment. He also facilitated monetary transactions for Hessian mercenaries. Around that time, Rothschild sent his five sons to live in the capital cities of various European countries. His goal was to have each of his children establish a banking business in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, Paris, and London.
In 1798 Mayer Rothschild's oldest son, Nathan Rothschild moved to London, England. There he founded a textile jobbing business with £20,000 of working capital, which in today's terms is equivalent to £1.9 million. Nathan Rothschild later founded a bank which became N M Rothschild & Sons Ltd. The firm is the country's seventh oldest bank in continuous operation. Although privately held and still controlled by the Rothschild family, N M Rothschild & Sons Ltd. reported a net profit of £34 million at the end of 2014. Like the other Rothschild banks that were subsequently set up throughout Europe, N M Rothschild & Sons furnished credit to the government during times of war and crisis. During Napoleon's French Revolution, N M Rothschild & Sons managed and financed various subsidies that the British government sent to its different allies.
There are lots of versions of how Mayer Rothschild and his sons became rich and also claims that they subversively encouraged opposing parties to go to war against each other and they profited by financing both sides. There are also stories that they had plans to form a single world government and they also were behind the setting up of the state of Israel and that the Israeli flag bears the blue version of the Rothschild family logo - a red hexagram or the so-called Star of David.
How much of that is true is anybody’s guess. But if you study their methods, you will notice that they did what shrewd investors are still doing today.
They used inside information that they heard from their rich clients, they acted (sold or bought) before others did, they even set up a news channel between the banks run by the sons using couriers so that all of them knew what was happening in the corridors of power in each country. They helped the richest people around in their time, the royalty, to invest their wealth and then lent money to them and to governments. They profited much from war by financing both sides.
They started banks because they knew that if they controlled money, they could control people and events.
It is also rumoured that they were behind the setting up of a few central banks so that they could control the supply of money of the nations.
This was pulled from an answer at Quora.
Another answer reads below
They made their wealth through STOCK EXCHANGE .The mastermind behind their wealth was non other than NATHAN ROTHSCHILD. They heavily invested in Napoleon War and at the end of the war . The private intelligence service enabled Nathan to receive in London the news that Napoleon lost at the Battle of Waterloo a full day ahead of the government’s official messengers. With this knowledge, Nathan decided to publicize false rumors that tricked the London Stock Exchange into believing that Napoleon had won. Nathan even started selling his English stocks, causing others to do the same in a frenzy to get rid of their “worthless English money.” The resulting Stock Market crash enabled Nathan Rothschild’s agents to then buy up the London Stock Market dirt cheap and seize control of the Bank of England right before London found out the truth about the battle. One can only imagine how many people’s hard earned savings and lives were destroyed because of this. When the English leaders found out they had no choice but to give their money over to the Red Shield, as slaves to the war debt. Since that time, the English have been paying their national taxes directly to the Red Shield private bankers, (i.e. Rothschild Family) while the majority of their people have no clue… and yes, this is still going on till this day. In spite of what Nathan did, he was quoted for even making a smart remark, “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws.” Arrogant, yes. This is some feat isn’t it. Poor England is still suffering from that event 200 years later, and will mostly likely not end. But now what if he did it again? But this time gained control over another country as well? Sounds impossible? Even while owning a huge amount of the British economy, he was still hungry for more. And rest assure, he acted on that greed.
The Rothschild brothers repeated the exact same fraud in 1929, but this time with the New York Stock Market Crash that caused the Great Depression. It took them until this time to fully gain control of America, but they tried even before this. Their goal was nothing less than to end the American Dream of free men, and eventually they were successful. Every man and women till this day after all is faced with the exact same consequences of England’s people… paying their hard earned money through taxes to the Red Shield, or should I say Federal Reserve. Maybe taxes aren’t that bad right, but how did the recession make you feel?