He was the son of Amschel Moses Rothschild, (born circa 1710), a money changer who had traded with the Prince of Hesse.
Born in the "Judengasse", the ghetto of Frankfurt, Mayer developed a finance house and spread his empire by installing each of his five sons in the five main European financial centres to conduct business.
Nathan Rothschild calculated that the future reduction in government borrowing brought about by the peace would create a bounce in British government bonds after a two-year stabilisation, which would finalise the post-war restructuring of the domestic economy.
In what has been described as one of the most audacious moves in financial history, Nathan immediately bought up the government bond market, for what at the time seemed an excessively high price, before waiting two years, then selling the bonds on the crest of a short bounce in the market in 1817 for a 40% profit.
The Rothschild family is a wealthy family descending from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a court Jew to the German Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel in the Free City of Frankfurt, who established his banking business in the 1760s.
who established themselves in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, and Naples.
The Rothschild coat of arms contains a clenched fist with five arrows symbolising the five dynasties established by the five sons of Mayer Rothschild, in a reference to Psalm 127: "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth." The family motto appears below the shield: Concordia, Integritas, Industria (Unity, Integrity, Industry).
Paul Johnson writes "[T]he Rothschilds are elusive.
The brothers helped coordinate Rothschild activities across the continent, and the family developed a network of agents, shippers and couriers to transport gold across war-torn Europe.The head of the whole group was the Rothschild family..." It also states: "Of more recent years, non-Jewish financiers have learned the same cosmopolitan method, and, on the whole, the control is now rather less than more in Jewish hands than formerly." Mayer Rothschild successfully kept the fortune in the family with carefully arranged marriages, often between first- or second-cousins (similar to royal intermarriage).By the late 19th century, however, almost all Rothschilds had started to marry outside the family, usually into the aristocracy or other financial dynasties.During the 19th century, the Rothschild family possessed the largest private fortune in the world, as well as the largest private fortune in modern world history.The first member of the family who was known to use the name "Rothschild" was Izaak Elchanan Rothschild, born in 1577.The name is derived from the German zum rothen Schild (with the old spelling "th"), meaning "with the red sign", in reference to the house where the family lived for many generations.