The Rothschild family is an international Jewish finance dynasty, which first emerged as a significant force during the 18th century in Frankfurt, Germany. They are the best known of the Jewish finance dynasties to emerge as Europe began to descend into liberalism and cosmopolitanism. They made their mark as war-profiteers during the Napoleonic Wars, allowing them to gain direct influence over many of the governments of Europe. Once acknowledged as the wealthiest family in the world, today their public activity is more nuanced and questions remain to the extent of their present wealth.
Rockefeller’s interest in Russia stemmed from the discovery of oil near the Caspian Sea town of Baku, in Azerbaijan. The oil field was the largest known oil strike in the world. It was controlled entirely by the Swedish munitions manufacturers Ludvig and Robert Nobel and Tzar Nicholas II’s banker, Baron Alphonse Rothschild.