The Money Power entered upon the third era of its growth with the application of steam to transportation in railroads and steamships.
The Railroad Era began about 1830; but for twenty years after steam was applied to railroads, industry languished throughout all countries of the Temperate zone, for want of sufficient money to transact the business of the world. But little progress was made in applying steam to transportation, until the mines of California first, and then the mines of Australia, and the Rocky Mountains, and old and new mines opened in Mexico and South America gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the circulating medium of the world. In 1850, the age of railroad and steamship building began on a large scale. Then the Money Power was fully embarked in this third era of its development.
The supremacy of the Money Power over industry, beginning with the application of steam to manufactures, was continued on a still higher plane of power, from 1850 and onward.
The new companies organized out of the dividends of the East India Company soon threw the old parent company into the shade by their gigantic enterprises. The experience of these new corporations seems to have convinced the Money Kings that the territorial sovereignty of the East India Company was a mistake. They found by experience that it was better for them to monopolize industry, commerce and wealth under the protection of a government controlled by them, than to exercise territorial sovereignty themselves. These new corporations began to trade with India, as with the rest of the world.
The East India Company, having no manufactures, was eclipsed as a trading corporation by these new rivals; and it soon come to restrict itself more and more to its territorial sovereignty. The Money Kings soon found that the new corporations were much better instruments for traffic, and they eventually made the East India Company merely their shield in India, behind whose protection they carried on their traffic. That company governed India entirely in their interest; for the same stockholders operated the East India Company and the new corporations born of the new age of steam industry.
They finally found the East India Company a burden, and an embarrassment. They derived the same advantage from the protection of the British government as from the Company, and without the cost and trouble. And moreover, bonuses and other advantages given them by the British government were safe and sure, while advantages and franchises given them by the East India Company might be subsequently annulled as unauthorized and fraudulent. To get rid of the expense and danger of maintaining the sovereignty of India, they, at the time of the Sepoy mutiny, influenced the British government to assume the government of India--and the East India Company, having served its end in giving birth to those new corporations born of its profits, passed away. The spider's brood, true to their nature, devoured their dam.
The Money Kings greatly enlarged their operations in the new age of steam transportation. They constantly invested their gains in more manufactures, more ships, and more warehouses, all over the earth. And when they made more profits than were needed for such investments--for their profits grew faster than the wants of commerce--they invested their surplus profits in various countries, in lands, in city houses, in building new railroads; and in buying vast bodies of lands in the Tropics, on which they opened up immense plantations, for the growth of coffee, tea, indigo, rice, opium, spices, and all tropical productions.
They started new enterprises owned by themselves in all countries of the globe--tea plantations in China; coffee plantations in Java and Ceylon; sheep ranches in Australia and South Africa and South America; sugar plantations in the West Indies and the Sandwich Islands; gold and silver mines in California, the Rocky Mountains, Australia, Mexico, and South America; diamond mines in India, and South Africa and Brazil; ruby mines in Burma; lumber mills in Canada, the United States, Norway, Sweden and Poland; city buildings in all countries; and railroads all over the world. These, and many other enterprises employed the boundless capital of the London Money Kings.
City Buildings have been a favorite investment with them in countries of the Temperate zone. They derive two advantages from these institutions: the buildings yield a high profit on the investment; and the Money Kings could thus put up rents in other countries, and increase the cost of living. This last point is an essential part of their industrial system.
In order to maintain the manufacturing supremacy of Great Britain, it is necessary that the cost of living should be as cheap there as in other countries. The price of food is necessarily higher in England than in other countries; and this has to be counterbalanced by cheaper rents. Rents are very low in England. By owning many buildings in foreign countries, the Money Kings are able to start a prevailing high standard of rents; which increase their profit on their investment, and raises the cost of living, till it is as high or higher, in other countries than in England. Furthermore, these high rents increase the value of property, and start foreign capital into real estate speculation, leaving to the Money Kings the safe field of productive industry. They are wonderfully shrewd, and understand perfectly all the points that benefit their interest, and injure the interest of the rest of the world.
Railroads are their favorite investments in countries of the Temperate zone. The ownership of them not only yields a large return upon the investment, but it gives to the Money Kings entire control of the internal traffic of the countries whose railroads they own. It also enables them to build up cities at points on the railroads known beforehand to themselves; so that, by getting possession of the land around the site, the make hundreds of millions of dollars in speculation in town lots.
With incomes derived from all these various sources, and constantly reinvested--with the whole world tributary to them--it is not wonderful that they have grown so rich. Having taken possession of all the lines of business in which money is to be made, it is no wonder that, for forty years, they have been the only people in the world who had a moneyed capital. No wonder that, continually impoverished by them, the nations of the earth have never had money to build railroads, or water works, or gas works, or any public buildings, but had always to issue bonds and sell them in London, to get money for all public improvements.
In the age of railroads, these Jew capitalists grew exceeding rich. At the beginning of the Era of Railroad Building, in 1850, no country had any capital, these London Money Kings excepted. The Money Kings alone of all the world had money; and they have taken special care, during the whole era, to make the world continually poorer by constantly increasing its debt to them.
To Chapter Four.