The Vienna branch of the Rothschild banking consortium was established by Salomon Rothschild in 1815, after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. His brother Carl established the Naples branch only a few years after him. The biggest struggle that the Rothschilds faced during these early years was acceptance. Anti-Semitism kept them out of the elite social circles, necessary realms of connection making, and thus hindered business. This was especially felt in Vienna and Naples. Salomon wasnt even able to buy a home in Vienna until 1842, as there were laws forbidding Jews from owning property within the Imperial capital. Through his wealth alone was he able to receive an exemption from this rule. He and his brother Carl in Naples were hesitant to purchase much real estate, though, for fear of the anti-Semitic backlash which it might incur, since real estate was seen as a sign of aristocracy. The Rothschilds frequently found themselves left off of the guest lists of influential balls. They countered this by throwing their own balls, which, by their extravagance alone, eventually attracted the clientele they were after. It wasnt until the late 1830s that senior government officials such as Metternich and Gentz would dine with Salomon. Once they established themselves, however, they became less cautious in hiding their blithe disregard for social rank. They detested such events, but held them for their business worth only. Salomon was especially known for his disapproval and extravagance. He was also known to eat too much, drink too much, to be rude, to surround himself with sycophants, and for having a lecherous passion for very young girls. He felt he was uneducated, an opinion of him held at the time by many other social and political elites, and thus he tried to refrain from social events as much as possible. The familys social efforts, trying as they were, did pay off though. Francis I made all of the brothe…
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