Lyndon LaRouche’s publications often speak about the Anglo–Dutch banking system. The following relatively short book, shows how our banking system evolved from Venice to Amsterdam to London.
Venice, until beginning 17th century
From the period of the first Crusade in 1099 until the founding of the Order of the Garter in 1348, Europe was dominated by the Venetian empire (now located in Italy). Venice with the Norman nobility of Europe, particularly from France and Angevin England, controlled Europe.
This allied nobility also controlled the Black Guelph (Welf) party of the northern Italian cities, allied with the Vatican.
In 1176, the Guelphs created the Lombard League, which came to include all the major cities of northern Italy (except Milan). These cities became the centers for the usurious Lombard banking system. The Lombard bankers became the de facto creditors and financial dictators of Europe.
The Lombard bankers first drove their victims into debt and then seized assets. For example, in 1325 the Peruzzi bank owned all the revenues of the Kingdom of Naples.
In Castile and England wool production was pledged as collateral for the Lombard loans. Naples and England were bankrupted, food production declined and by 1290 Europe began to depopulate (like we´re seeing these days...). Continent-wide famines struck in 1314-17, and again in 1328-9.
By the early 1400s, Lombard bankers were expelled from several countries: Arragon in 1401, England 1403, Flanders 1409, and France in 1410. The Venetian financial empire started to crumble.
In the midfifteenth century Venice was still the most powerful maritime nation in Europe, controlling Europe's slave and bullion trade. The Venetians created a new financial front to replace the now defunct Lombard bankers – the House of Fugger. Their agent Jacob Fugger was put in control of silver and copper mines in central Europe. From the vast wealth accumulated, Fugger created the most powerful banking house in Europe, and then bankrolled the Austrian Habsburgs (with many KG’s) to take control of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1518, by a series of strategic marriages, the Habsburgs took control of Spain and the Fuggers became the bankers to the Spanish monarchy. After the Spanish bankruptcy of 1575, Genoa replaced the Fuggers as the financial controllers of the Spanish crown.
In 1461, Louis XI became King of France, allied with the Medici in Florence, and proceeded to build ports, roads, schools, printing houses, industry and infrastructure, which was based on Nicholas de Cusa's “Commonwealth” principle.
In 1485, Henry Tudor invaded England, overthrew the last of the Plantagenet kings, Richard III, and established Tudor rule. As King Henry VII, he adopted similar methods as Louis XI.
In France and England, food production, national income, and population all increased for the first time in more than a century. These initiatives were copied in the Iberian peninsula, Flanders, and elsewhere.
By the mid-16th century, Venice was threatened with the loss of her colonies and access to trade with the east, because of the Ottoman Turks. In 1573, Venice lost Cyprus and other colonies after a humiliating defeat by the Turks.
In the late 1570s, the Giovani (“youthful”) faction took over Venice emerged, by taking over the Senate.
In the 1590s, Paolo Sarpi became the intellectual leader of the Giovani faction, and his views determined the policies of Venice until his death in 1623. In this period, Venice was controlled from salons where the Giovani orchestrated their actions.
In 1587, the Giovanni founded the first “public” bank in Venice, the Banco della Piazza di Rialto (sometimes called the Bank of Venice).
In 1619, this was followed by a second bank, the Banco Giro.
These 2 banks were granted a monopoly by the Venetian government on issuing bank notes and bills of credit. These banks were really the beginnings of what today we call private central banking.
In 1620, Venice was still the most important European center for Bills of Exchange.
The Banco della Piazza di Rialto would later be imitated for the Bank of Amsterdam.
In 1638 the Venetian Grand Council, established the first state-owned gambling house (and bordello) in Europe, the Ridotto. At the Ridotto, aristocrats, prostitutes, pimps, usurers, degenerate gamblers, and foreign visitors rubbed shoulders, wearing masks to protect their identity. The Ridotto functioned as an ideal tool to corrupt and blackmail its guests.
From Venice to Amsterdam
In the 1520s, the Netherlands, which then included Belgium and Luxembourg, were under Spanish-Habsburg rule. In 1523, the first Protestant “heretic” was publicly burned and by the 1530s hundreds had been executed.
In 1567, the Duke of Alva arrived with 10,000 Spanish troops, to enforce the Inquisition and extract money that the Spanish Crown owed to its Fugger creditors. In years, Alva had more than 12,000 people executed. Alva also campaigns against cities like Mechlin, Zutphen and Haarlem in 1572 that were looted and burnt to the ground, with many people murdered, raped and tortured.
In 1576, the premier city of the Netherlands, Antwerp, was occupied, and over 8,000 civilians were slaughtered. In 1585, the Antwerp Bourse (stock exchange) was closed, followed by the " exodus" to the north provinces of the Netherlands, with most of the more than 19,000 merchants, bankers, and Bourse speculators settling in Amsterdam.
These emigrants included Jan de Wael, Jacob Poppin, and Isaac Le Maire, who would play a major role in founding the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in 1602.
In 1608, the Amsterdam Exchange (the New Bourse) and in 1609 the Amsterdamsche Wisselbank (Bank of Amsterdam) were founded. These financial institutions copied much of the Antwerp model.
The Wisselbank, like the Bank of Venice, was a privately owned public bank; with a monopoly on all exchange of specie, and trade in precious metals; a clearinghouse for bills of exchange; and owned the debt of the Dutch government.
It established the new "bank money" as the center of the city's securities trading.
The Bourse was a money market, a finance market, and a stock market.
This included trade in futures, options, margin loans, financial leverage, speculation in foreign securities, and derivatives (known as ductions).
By the second half of the 17th century, the Wisselbank had amassed an enormous financial power, which gave them the ability to expand the Empire and finance wars on a scale never seen before and made Amsterdam the financial centre of the world.
In the 1680s, when the Wisselbank ended the right of specie withdrawal, paper money was in effect. Since then, the Ango-Dutch bankers, have worked hard to make money the heart of the economy.
It is a system based on money, usury, and debt, where both the people and government, are controlled through the Central Bank’s power over money and debt.
In 1609, the Giovani-controlled Venetian Senate was the first government in Europe to recognise Dutch independence from Spain. In 1609, the Treaty of Antwerp was signed in which Spain recognised Dutch independence.
From 1610 to 1618, there was an undeclared war between Venice and Habsburg Spain, and Venice and the Netherlands began an unofficial military alliance. In the 1615-1617 war between Venice and Habsburg Austria, 5,000 Dutch mercenaries fought at the side of Venice, and 12 Dutch warships blockaded Spanish aid to Austria.
In 1613, arguably the most powerful man in Dutch government, founder of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC, Dutch East India Company) Johan van Oldenbarneveldt, appointed Hugo de Groot (or Grotius) Pensionary of Holland, the second most powerful post in the government. Hugo de Groot was in correspondence with Sarpi for many years.
In 1618, Sarpi personally directed the signing of the Dutch-Venetian alliance, which included a mutual defense pack against the Habsburgs. In 1618, Van Oldenbarneveldt, wanted to extend the 12 year truce with Spain. Because the black nobility wanted war to erupt Europe-wide, Maurice of Nassau (KG in 1612) had Oldenbarneveldt arrested and executed, while De Groot was imprisoned.
In exile, De Groot would become an active member of the empiricist Mersenne Circle, which included Thomas Hobbes and members of the Cavendish family, and was connected to Sarpi's secretary Micanzio.
In 1621, Maurice of Nassau resumed the war against Spain. Venice financed the Dutch government at The Hague with more than 1 million ducats.
This was all part of the plan of a war between the Dutch, James I of England, and the German Protestant princes on the one side against Spain, the Holy Roman Emperor and the Papacy on the other. After the 1610 assassination of King Henry IV, the chaos could be used to rekindle the religious wars in France, so that Louis XI’s and Henry VII’s “commonwealths” could be eradicated.
The VOC was a private empire with the greatest maritime empire in the world, which had the right to wage war against nations, including their home country. The VOC dominated Asia trade for almost 2 centuries, it took until the late 18th century before the British East India Company surpassed is.
In 1605, the Dutch started their takeover of Indonesia, which would be looted for almost 350 years.
In 1621, the natives of the Island of Band refused to give the Dutch a nutmeg monopoly. In response, to protect “free trade”, the VOC Governor General Jan Pieterszoon had the population exterminated, and slaves were brought in to work the Dutch plantations.
In 1641, the Dutch established a monopoly on trade with Japan which lasted until 1853,
The VOC started pressing coins around 1650, both in the Netherlands and colonised parts of Asia.
In 1606, the first known Dutch slave ships sailed.
In 1621, the Vereenigde Westindische Compagnie (VWC, Dutch West India Company) was founded, to take over the African slave trade from Spain and Portugal. This was achieved by 1650, when the Dutch had seized most of the Spanish and Portuguese slave fortresses in West Africa. By 1700, the percentage of slaves was: 52% Batavia; 42% Capetown; 53% Colombo; 66% Makassar.
The Dutch took slaves from East Africa, Madagascar, New Guinea, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Between 1450 and 1850, at least 20 million Africans were either taken or killed as a result of the slave trade.
Of the total amount of slaves taken from Africa between 1500 and 1850, 70% were shipped between 1700 and 1800. The record was set in 1768, when 110,000 people were taken from Africa to be sold as slaves.
In 1650, Stadthouder Willem II (KG in 1645) died without successors. This initiated a 21 year period of civilian rule. From 1653 to 1672, Johan de Witt served as the Grand Pensionary of Holland and effectively ran the Dutch government, with his brother Cornelis de Witt.
In 1672, the French armies of Louis XIV occupied large parts of the Netherlands, who put Willem III of Nassau (KG in 1653) into power, who had the brothers De Witt executed...
Venice was not only alligned with Dutch “stadthouder” (city holder) Maurice of Nassau but also with the Venetian Party in London, grouped around Robert Cecil (1st Earl of Salisbury – KG in 1606; there have been 13 KG Cecils), Francis Bacon, and the Cavendish family.
In 1598, Sir Edwin Sandys was living in Venice and allegedly co-wrote a book with Paolo Sarpi. Nine years after leaving Venice, Sandys became one of the founders of the London Virginia Company, chartered by King James I, for the purpose of establishing English colonies in North America. From 1618 to 1623, Sandys effectively ran the company.
Under the rule of Paolo Sarpi’s friend Edwin Sandys, the Virginia Company brought the first slaves into Jamestown in 1618, and held the first public slave auction in 1638. By 1715, 24% of Virginia’s population were slaves. Sandys was also active in the British East India Company and later became an MP for many years where he introduced bills in support of “free trade”.
According to W.E.B. Du Bois, between 1600 and 1800, about 12 million slaves were brought into the Americas, about 60% of all trans-Atlantic emigration.
Many young British aristocrats traveled to Venice to meet Sarpi, including future British Prime Minister Robert Cecil, another founder of the London Virginia Company William Cavendish, and the “philosopher” Thomas Hobbes. The Cavendish family were the closest personal allies of Sarpi in England.
In 1603, James I became King of Scotland. His first Privy Council included Edward Wotton and Robert Cecil, who were on intimate terms with Sarpi’s Giovani leadership in Venice.
Another Sarpi ally was Henry Wotton, who would serve 3 times as the British Ambassador to Venice from 1604 to 1624. Wotton played an important role in recruiting and organising the Venetian circle at Oxford University, which included Robert Cecil, Thomas Walsingham, John Donne, and James Florio.
In 1614, William Cavendish accompanied Thomas Hobbes on a trip to Venice where they met Sarpi and his group. Cavendish maintained a 13 year correspondence with Sarpi and his secretary Micanzio, and introduced Francis Bacon to Sarpi. Bacon would spread Sarpi's method of “empiricism” into England.
From Amsterdam to London
Algernon Sidney had a close relationship with Dutch leader Johann de Witt. Sidney came under the influence of the English Ambassador William Temple and John Locke's employer, Anthony Ashley Cooper (the Earl of Shaftesbury), who were orchestrating a Dutch coup in England.
In England, the group that was plotting to install the House of Orange on the English throne included: William Cavendish, Robert Spencer (2nd Earl of Sunderland, KG in 1687 installed by Charles II), Lord Orford (Edward Russell), and Bishop Compton.
William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle (1592 – 1676) became a Knight of the Garter in 1650. Since then at least 15 more members of the Cavendish family counts have become Knights of the Garter. Queen Elizabeth II counts the Cavendish family among her ancestors.
In 1666, Sidney – on the orders of Temple and Cooper - proposed to De Witt to launch an invasion of England to restore “Parliamentary rule”.
In 1678 a marriage was arranged between the Dutch Stadthouder Willem III of Orange and Mary, daughter of King James II, and the first in line of succession to the English throne. In 1679, Temple sent Algernon’s brother Henry back to the Netherlands to motivate the Dutch to invade; even offering the English crown to Willem III.
In 1682, Algernon Sidney was arrested for the “Rye House Plot” against King Charles II, and was executed along with several others.
In 1681, Henry Sidney became the English Ambassador to the Netherlands.
William Cavendish, First Duke of Devonshire (1640-1707), KG in 1689, was one of the “Immortal Seven” who signed the Letter of Invitation to Willem III of Orange in 1688, asking him to invade England:
If the circumstances stand so with your Highness that you believe you can get here time enough, in a condition to give assistances this year sufficient for a relief under these circumstances which have been now represented, we who subscribe this will not fail to attend your Highness upon your landing and to do all that lies in our power to prepare others to be in as much readiness as such an action is capable of...
In 1688, after Willem III landed in England, others rallied to the side of the Dutch, including John Churchill (Duke of Marlborough, KG in 1702), William Bentinck (Earl of Portland, KG in 1697) and Charles Montagu (Earl of Halifax, KG in 1714). Many of these Whig leaders were proteges of Anthony Ashley Cooper.
Dutch Stadthouder Willem III of Orange was crowned King William III of England and the Anglo-Dutch Empire was realised with the bloodiest penal code in Europe.
In 1690, John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government was published, to provide the “philosophy” for the transformation. The 2 banks of Venice and the Dutch VOC became the model for the Bank of England in 1694 and the VOC for “new” “British” East India Company in 1698.
While Amsterdam as a financial centre was already successful, in London the financial oligarchy became the de facto government. The Bank and East India Company were in private hands, and the third pillar of power, the Exchequer was effectively a fifth column of the oligarchy.
Even to this day, there is no British Constitution or a British “government” in any meaningful definition of that term.
William Paterson became the founder of the Bank of England. He had earlier been in Holland with Willem III, and was active in the Dutch invasion. The key government agent of the Bank of England was Charles Montagu, who had greeted Willem III at the dock when his invasion fleet landed. In 1697, the first of a series of Acts was passed by Parliament, with the end result being that the Bank had a total monopoly over banking in England.
In 1707, the Bank took over the national debt, which at £7 million was rising.
In 1742, Parliament gave the Bank of England the exlusive right to print money and for the next 80 years was the only jointstock bank allowed in England.
After 1690, and particularly after 1720, Dutch capital took over the English financial markets.
By the 1730s, 30% of East India Company (EIC) stock and 35% of Bank of England stock was in Dutch hands. Another 10% of these companies was held by Geneva-based Swiss investors.
By 1750, Dutch investors held 20% of the shares on the London Stock Exchange and 26% of England’s national debt.
In 1710, Jonathan Swift's faction, including Robert Harley, Henry St. John (Bolingbroke), Matthew Prior, and the Duke of Ormond, took control of the British government. In 1711, they founded the South Sea Company to challenge the Bank of England, and until 1713 £9.4 million of government debt were exchanged for South Sea stock, cutting the power of the Bank.
After Anne died in 1714, Harley and Prior were charged with treason and Bolingbroke and Ormond fled to France.
The "Act of Settlement" was used to make George I of Hanover the new British king. Within six months after his coronation, the Bank of England took over all government borrowing operations from the Exchequer, and by 1719 it controlled most government stocks. The manipulation of those stocks and loans to the government, were used to wage wars all over the globe.
Like the Dutch VOC, the East India Company had its own army, navy, to wage war, and take all the loot. In 1803, the EIC had a private army of about 260,000 — double the British Army.
In 1757, India - hundreds of millions of people - came under the rule of the EIC. India was its property.
With the defeat of the French in the Seven Years War in 1763, the EIC (also) took possession of the French colonies to establishe a worldwide private empire.
The East India Company coined its own money, see for example.
Because the last chapters in the book, from Chapter 11, are dedicated to praising the American System of Economics, it looks like the main conclusion of the writer Ingraham, is that the (protectionist) American System of Economics can protect us from the the British (Empire) System of Free Trade.
My most important conclusion is that the current system of bilateral treaties, World Bank, IMF, WTO, UN and privately owned state debt is really the consequence of what was started in the 16th century (or even before in Venice) in the Netherlands and Britain: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=713&p=2671
Bertrand Russell in 1952 wrote:
At present the population of the world is increasing ... War so far has had no great effect on this increase...
I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others...
If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation, survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full ... the state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of it? Really high-minded people are indifferent to suffering, especially that of others.
From 1822 to 1838, the British-made Indian famines killed an estimated 29 million people.
The genocide against the people of Ireland was almost identical in method to that in India. In 1845, more than 75% of the Irish were tenant farmers, the equivalent of feudal serfs, owned by aristocratic Lords.
In 1846-1849, British officials exported from Ireland enough wheat, barley, oats, butter, pigs, and eggs to feed the entire population, while people were dying by the hundreds of thousands of starvation, causing more than 2 million Irish to die.
In 1844 the population of Ireland had been over 8 million. Today Ireland has an estimated population of 4.8 million...
By the 1830s, there were more than 10 million drug addicts in China; when in 1838 the Chinese government tried to wipe out the drug trade, the British responded by going to war.
Robert D. Ingraham - The Modern Anglo–Dutch Empire; its Origins, Evolution and anti-human Outlook
(2008): http://wlym.com/archive/oakland/brutish ... Empire.pdf
(archived here: http://web.archive.org/web/201905170356 ... Empire.pdf