1901-1944

1901 — William Knox D’Arcy negotiated a prospecting arrangement with the Shah of Persia for exclusive rights to extract oil from the lands that would be known after World War II as Iran. He would come to sell the majority of that interest to the Burmah Oil Company, which in turn would fall under control of APOC (Anglo-Persian Oil Company) — a company later known as British Petroleum, or BP.

1907 — A failed cornering scheme on the United Copper Company in the United States led to the Panic of ‘07, a financial crisis marked by several bank runs and multiple bank and trust failures within a very short period of time. Injected liquidity by J.P. Morgan saved the American banking system, and led to cries by the banks that were still standing — and soon after, several politicians — that a central banking system of some kind needed to be put in place to prevent such failings in the future. This bank would have to be a private interest with the ability to provide financial liquidity for other private interests as needed, in the way that J.P. Morgan had done. It would be unique in its ability to provide vast ‘emergency funds’ backed by the government.

Some historians pointed the finger at J.P. Morgan himself for spreading the insolvency rumors that led to the panic, and at members of a ‘Gilded Senate’ as being corrupt for allowing Wall Street to make decisions that primarily benefited them instead of the American people. This was most directly evidenced in the bailout packages to major corporations who assisted said Senate members, including Aldrich, in maintaining their positions. The packages were delivered on promises that the money would be used to create jobs and increase employment, but in the majority of cases, it went directly to the personal accounts of the financiers and executives of the companies.

1908 — APOC discovered a large oil field in Masjed Soleiman, Iran. The first oil extraction from the Middle East began. In the United States, the Aldrich-Vreeland Act created the National Monetary Commission. This commission released thirty total reports in the following four years which concluded that a central banking system was needed.

1913 — The Aldrich Plan, put forth by the National Monetary Commission, resulted in the creation of the Federal Reserve, the latest and last central banking system employed by the United States.

A middle-aged Winston Churchill saw to it that the British Crown took a controlling interest in the Burmah Oil Company’s assets in Persia. The United Kingdom acted not just as a hidden partner in the newly formed APOC, but as the actual controller of the decisions and moves of the company.

1914 — World War I began. The first British troops (The Dorsett Regiment, 2ndBattalion) were deployed to Basra in order to guarantee the safe flow of oil to the Empire while cutting off German supply lines. They were immediately reinforced with fifty-one additional infantry divisions.

It is worth noting that in the course of the previous decade the British Royal and German navies, along with those of many other industrialized nations, switched from coal to petroleum fueled engines. As a result, the first British military actions were solely directed at interrupting German access to the Middle Eastern oil reserves promised to Germany by other sovereign states. The Berlin to Constantinople train line, also known as the Orient Express, only needed to be extended nine hundred clicks further to secure an amazingly flush oil trade in Baghdad for the Germans. Given their superior engineering and industry at the time, Germany stood to finally overtake England economically if they could establish a rail route to high quality petroleum.

The Berlin to Baghdad railway was well under construction prior to the overwhelming British force sent to Basra to fight for control of what was even then understood to be a severely limited resource.

1929 — The Great Depression began. A period of famine and poverty struck America and the rest of the world when speculative financing and overblown stock markets collapsed across the planet. Only through radical change and another World War were economies and nations returned to a period of growth, nearly ten years later, at the cost of millions upon millions of lives.

1933 — An alleged political conspiracy between Du Pont, Remington, Morgan and Co, and other American corporations was hatched — referred to as The Business Plot. A year later it culminated with Gerald C. MacGuire, a bond salesman for Murphy and Company, approaching retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler with a plan to overthrow the American government through a Fascist coup. The retired patriot instead gathered information on those responsible for the plan by pretending to be willing to participate, until he had enough evidence to attempt to bring the men to justice.

1934 — By November, the McCormack-Dickstein Committee convened to investigate the treasonous charges surrounding The Business Plot, and immediately took on a narrow focus that left free of examination any person of power or anyone with a connection to the financial elite. By the end of the hearings three months later, Butler accused the committee of having perverted the process, stating “Like most committees it has slaughtered the little and allowed the big to escape. The big weren’t even called to testify. They were all mentioned in the testimony. Why was all mention of these names suppressed from the testimony?”

Independent journalistic investigation in the following years revealed heavy redaction and even outright deletion / loss / omission of pages of court records. No explanation was ever given by any federal authority on why these inconsistencies existed (especially rare in such a heavily organized era as FDR’s presidency) nor was any explanation provided for why investigation into the discrepancies was not undertaken.

Inquests throughout the years would never turn up the complete record of these hearings or the full extent of the accusations — the final report of the Congressional committee was simple, and it focused on MacGuire, mentioning nothing of those who were thought to be the organizers and financiers of the plot:

In the last few weeks of the committee’s official life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country. No evidence was presented and this committee had none to show a connection between this effort and any fascist activity of any European country. There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient.

This committee received evidence from Maj. Gen Smedley D. Butler (retired), twice decorated by the Congress of the United States. He testified before the committee as to conversations with one Gerald C. MacGuire in which the latter is alleged to have suggested the formation of a fascist army under the leadership of General Butler.

MacGuire denied these allegations under oath, but your committee was able to verify all the pertinent statements made by General Butler, with the exception of the direct statement suggesting the creation of the organization. This, however, was corroborated in the correspondence of MacGuire with his principal, Robert Sterling Clark, of New York City, while MacGuire was abroad studying the various forms of veterans organizations of Fascist character.

This was the final official report on the subject.

1944 — The average American farm produced two thousand calories of food per calorie of fossil fuel expended on the agricultural process.

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