View Full Version : A Short Into to the Birth of Modern Globalism

04-08-2006, 02:48 AM
An interesting article I found based on some knowledge a friend was droppin. I'm putting the link for the full article at the end. And if anyone has any relaventl info, please feel free to share. peace

The Warburgs appear in the sixteenth century as “Court Jews” in the town between Frankfurt and Hamburg from which they got their name - not being allowed, by German law at the time, to have surnames of their own. Forbidden also to own land or carry on everyday trades, the trade of the Jews became the handling of money, as lenders at interest and dealers in foreign exchange. Georg Simmel said that the Jews provided “the best example of the correlation between . . . money interests and social deprivation.” Money, in Simmel’s view, was the one thing that could make up for the stigma inflicted on the Jews; and money was the one trade that Christian society would let them pursue, thanks to the Church’s mistrust of interest and the aristocracy’s mistrust of anything not a tangible product of the soil. The Jews were thus concentrated in a role that made them alien, resented - and indispensable; and in the most dynamic and mysterious sector of the modern economy, finance. This was a dangerous niche to occupy, though not more dangerous in the German principalities, as yet, than anywhere else.

When Warburgs moved into Hamburg in the seventeenth century and set up as international bankers they became doubly marginal. The problem for traders was always whether you could trust their foreign counterpart; only Jews, not having a real country of their own, could reliably do business with their co-religionists across national boundaries. Their exclusion from the mainstream made them ideal go-betweens, with a global view of the opportunities arising as Germany unified itself, and Hamburg became its principal port.