Beyonce taught us that girls run the world, but sadly the queen bee is gravely mistaken.
Throughout history power has always been concentrated in the hands of the few- from the first tribal
chieftains and their shamans, to today's political elite.
But sometimes that power has been held firmly within bloodlines, passed down from generation
to generation like a very unearned inheritance.
Hello and welcome to another episode of The Infographics Show- today we're taking a look
at the most powerful families in the world.
With a name that pops up in nearly every conspiracy theory out there, it's no surprise that the
Rothschilds would end up on this list.
Whether they are responsible for assassinating JFK to ensure he didn't invade Cuba and thus
destroy the lucrative sugar market, to having secretly financed 9/11 on behalf of the aliens
from Zeti Reticuli so they could eat our brains- if there's a conspiracy theory out there,
chances are the Rothschilds are at the center of it.
With a family history such as the Rothschild's though, it's hard to blame conspiracy theorists.
Rising from a lowly apprentice working at a small Hamburg bank, Mayer Rothschild displayed
from an early age a keen interest and talent for finances.
In no time at all Mayer had made himself a prominent member of the global banking industry,
and would go on to install his five sons around the financial capitals of Europe.
Overseeing operations from London to Berlin, the Rothschilds helped stabilize international
currencies through their lending and banking practices with individual governments.
While this was generally a good thing as it kept markets stable and people employed, the
Rothschilds certainly earned a very pretty penny for their 'charitable' work.
As Europe plunged along the industrial revolution, the Rothschilds were there to finance Europe's
favorite hobby: waging horrible wars against itself.
Mostly staying on the right side of history though, the Rothschilds were quick to lend
England about 10 billion in today's dollars to help finance the war effort against Napoleon
By this time the Rothschilds fortune was so vast, and their financial network so elaborate,
that they actually received the news of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo a full day before the British
Such stunning displays of international power and reach have for long time cast the Rothschilds
under extreme suspicion, and they have throughout history been blamed for pretty much every
major war or other catastrophe, often portrayed as nothing more than money-hungry and evil
to the point of profiteering from human misery.
The truth however is that the Rothschilds were simply a family extraordinarily gifted
in the world of finance, and their charitable contributions to human society are some of
the greatest in history and continue to this day.
Or perhaps the Rothschilds paid us to say that so that you won't figure out they are
secretly working for the Zeta Reticuli aliens who definitely don't want to eat your brains.
If there's a name synonymous with the international power and intrigue of the Rothschilds, it's
John D. Rockefeller was born in rural New York to a father who was a con man and a mother
who was deeply religious.
Unlike his shuckster father, John was often described as a serious, polite, and honest
young man, and at age 17 he began working as a bookkeeper at a small produce firm.
Working long hours, Rockefeller delighted in the intricacies of the work, yet had a
keen mind for finances and budgeting.
Seeing an opportunity with the advent of the internal combustion engine, Rockefeller started
a business partnership with a friend and his brothers, going into the business of refining
oil at a time when everybody else was busy trying to pump it out of the ground.
The discovery of giant oil reserves in Texas, and the growing exploitation of oil in the
Middle East made it clear that this new resource was the wave of the future, and yet very little
infrastructure existed for the actual refining of oil into fuel and other products.
The oil ‘gold rush’ had seen entrepreneurs open up prospecting and drilling companies
around the world, but a growing need for oil processing was being unmet.
This is where Rockefeller and family came into play.
Founding Standard Oil in 1870, Rockefeller's wealth exploded, and he would go on to end
up controlling 90 percent of America's oil pipelines and refineries.
After his family's monopoly was broken up by anti-trust laws in 1911, the Rockefellers
continued to hold on to a large share of the national oil production industry.
At the time of this death in 1937, John D. Rockefeller was valued at $340 billion in
today's dollars, or four times more than Bill Gates.
However in the time since this record high, a rise in international competition and lack
of similar talent for finances by Rockefeller's descendants has seen the family wealth plummet
down to an estimated $11 billion, though somehow we suspect that they get along just fine with
only 11 billion dollars.
Born to a banker it's no surprise that John Pierpont Morgan would follow in his father's
footsteps and become a banker himself.
However, unlike his father, John would go on to found one of the world's most important
financial institutions, J.P. Morgan & Company.
During a scare in 1893 over the outflow of the US's surplus gold to foreign nations,
the US economy looked set to plummet- but in these dire times John saw an opportunity
that no others did.
Putting together a syndicate of bankers which included the Rothschilds, Morgan used US bonds
to buy back gold from foreign investors, thus restoring public faith in the dollar and stabilizing
This gold and bond exchange however allowed Morgan to effectively control the US gold
supply, which let him finance the creation of US Steel and General Electric while buying
out all competitors- effectively taking over two of the most important financial sectors
of the entire nation: steel and electricity.
Morgan’s control over the nation’s gold supply at a time when the national economy-
and most global economies as well- were tied to the gold standard allowed Morgan to manipulate
the economy to raise or lower the value of the dollar and consumer prices.
And despite ensuring a measure of fiscal responsibility, this is overwhelmingly why the gold standard
is a bad thing- no matter what your belligerently libertarian uncle posts on your facebook wall
every other week.
Known as an unethical and cutthroat businessman, Morgan bought out, bullied out, or outcompeted
any competitors by slashing jobs, reducing wages and generally doing away with anything
even remotely related to workplace safety.
If it wasn't generating money, it wasn't worth his time- and after all the nation was full
of peasants to replace those killed or maimed in horrific industrial accidents.
With no minimum wage laws or workplace safety standards, Morgan effectively built an empire
built on heaps and heaps of exploitation and human misery- which by the way, is why minimum
wage and workplace safety legislation are important things to have.
Sometimes government regulations are a good thing to have, though we tend to forget that
since we are so far separated from the misery of the industrial revolution and its mass
exploitation of the average worker.
In modern times not much has changed, with J.P. Morgan widely blamed for helping spread
the practices of predatory lending which led to the 2008 global financial crash.
Rumors of the Morgan family being war profiteers and generally banking on any human misery
that will make them a single penny are popular- and you know what, given the family's past,
this time it's clear that if anybody is cooperating with the aliens from Zeta Reticuli to eat
your brains it's definitely the Morgans.
Yet with such a commanding grip on the global economy, there’s little the individual consumer
can do to avoid engaging in a J.P. Morgan-backed business.
Sired by a french immigrant who emigrated into the United States in the 1800s, the DuPont
family has built an empire based on manufacturing and the distribution of industrial chemicals
and military munitions.
Initially establishing the family business as a gunpowder manufacturer, DuPont quickly
became the largest supplier of gunpowder to the US military, and would go on to begin
creating dynamite in industrial proportions.
Like so many other monopolies, the DuPont monopoly was broken up in the early 1900s
under the Sherman Antitrust Act, but the family still managed to maintain a huge market share
of the global munitions industry, having supplied nearly 40 percent of all the munitions used
by Allied forces during the First World War.
Unlike the Morgan family however, the DuPonts felt at least some obligation to the nation
they were profiting from, and so during World War II when the US Government needed help
producing plutonium for the war-ending Manhattan Project, the DuPont company designed and built
one of the largest plutonium plants in the country, all the while keeping it an absolute
secret to prevent the Axis powers from discovering the US's research.
In the 1950s after the Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb, the DuPont company once
more cooperated with the US government to help America develop the hydrogen bomb, hoping
to keep the US's edge over their Soviet competitors.
Working hand-in-hand with the US government, DuPont helped focus the efforts of the nation’s
scientists, all the while being handsomely compensated by the US government of course.
The DuPonts may be the second most powerful family in the world, but are surprisingly
the subject of very few wild-eyed conspiracy theories- except for one.
Blamed for helping spur the US's prohibition of hemp and cannabis in 1937 in order to protect
its paper and nylon manufacturing, the DuPonts have often been the target of those who see
overly restrictive anti-marijuana laws as unfair and needless.
The widespread use of hemp as a manufacturing product would after all cut into the DuPont’s
earnings- yet if marijuana was legalized nationally, there’s little doubt the DuPonts wouldn’t
simply immediately engage in the growing and processing of hemp products.
And with their vast wealth to back their entrepreneurial efforts, they would be doing so from a commanding
lead versus any other competitor.
The Bush Family
Best known for Presidents George W. Bush and George Bush Senior, the Bush family began
its climb to international power with Prescott Sheldon Bush, a US banker and senator.
For years the family was accused of hugely profiting from World War II and for having
established businesses with corporations that financed Hitler's government, and the reveal
of declassified documents in 2003 showed several questionable transactions that could have
been in violation of the Trading With The Enemies Act.
However after it was revealed in 1943 that a Polish mining interest Prescott Bush was
invested in was using forced labor from Auschwitz, Bush distanced himself and engaged in the
collection of funds for the victims of the war.
The rest of the Bush family hasn't escaped scrutiny though, with both presidents having
been blamed for profiting from the wars started under their watch.
These allegations may be a bit more of a stretch than those against Prescott Bush however,
as it's well known fact that George Bush Sr. was very reluctant about starting a war against
Iraq, and it was the consistent prodding from Britain that finally spurred him to action.
Whatever the case, having had two members become presidents of the most powerful nation
on earth has garnered the family international prestige and connections, making them without
a doubt the single most powerful family alive today.
Which of these families is truly the most powerful in the world?
How delicious exactly are your brains- we have friends from out of town who are curious.
Also, make sure you check out our other video Is The Rothschild Family The Richest In The
Thanks for watching, see you next time!