The Founders of TPTB which fell the Once Great American Empire...
1. Samuel Prescott Bush (1863 -1948)
The founder of the modern Bush dynasty was Samuel Prescott Bush, an Ohio steel executive, whose Buckeye Steel Castings Co. business projects included making parts for the Harriman railway empire. Before becoming President of Buckeye (1905-1927), Samuel Bush held a railroad position in Pennsylvania. He was the son of the Rev. James Smith Bush and Harriet Fay. Samuel graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1884, and ten years later married Flora Sheldon, with whom he had four surviving children, Prescott, Mary, Margaret and James. Of these his son Prescott Sheldon Bush was to be his father's dynastic successor. Samuel's money was not to give him immunity from personal tragedy however, for his wife Flora was to be killed when struck by a car in 1920. Samuel later remarried Martha Bell Carter of Milwaukee.
For many years Samuel was a leading member of the National Association of Manufacturers, and for a time was President of the Ohio Manufacturer's Association. Later he was to be an advisor to the disastrous Depression-era President Herbert Hoover on business and unemployment issues. He began the Bush family's abiding interest in golf, baseball, tennis and football. His old company Buckeye Steel endured for many years, but under new ownership filed for bankruptcy reorganization in Dec. 2002.
After the US entered World War I in April 1917, Samuel Bush obtained a position as head of the War Industries Board's Ordnance, Small Arms and Ammunition Section. This is surprising, considering he had no background in armaments. There was a hidden logic. As an apparent 'cleanskin' suitable for a sensitive official position, Bush already had powerful patrons eager to put his name forward. We can note for example Frank and Percy Rockefeller, whose famous family had moved to gain control of the Remington Arms Company in 1914. (Frank Rockefeller, a brother of clan head John D. Rockefeller, was the previous President of Buckeye Steel).
Then there was a certain George Sheldon, a director of the huge Bethlehem Steel Corp., which like Remington benefited enormously from World War I. George Sheldon was also a vice-president of the Navy League, which was subsidised by steel & arms makers to agitate for a massive naval expansion advantageous to them.
Finally, the War Industries Board was itself headed by Bernard M. Baruch, a Wall St. speculator who had close personal and business ties to E.H. Harriman, father of the closest friend of Bush's son Prescott at Yale. Sometimes the associations of their children can bring advancement to parents just as readily as the reverse. In Samuel Bush's later years he was to remain closely associated with the high-flying Baruch. In the America of the day, big money stuck together closer than clotted cream.
So the link between the Bushes, war, patriotism and profits was now firmly established through an informal network of influence. It has continued ever since.
The Merchants of Death
The period following the Civil War in the US and the Franco-Prussian War in Europe opened both a great general industrial expansion and the largest explosion of arms manufacturing ever known until the modern era. It was a time of huge fortunes being built by ruthless industrialists and bankers. These gentlemen, later styled the "robber barons" by historians, look little better than gangsters in retrospect. However many of them founded family dynasties whose descendants were to become not only rich but also eminently respectable. In some cases, like that of the Carnegies and the Rockefellers, much of their fortunes were later to be used worldwide for considerable good. In other cases, like the Bush family, the further accumulation of money and power remained the primary goal.
The most evil aspect of the unregulated free-for-all that characterised the 1865 -1914 period of rapid industrial expansion was the development of an arms trade which did not just sell weapons but actively promoted war tensions and conflict to do so. The "trick of the trade" then for the arms manufacturers was to manufacture not just munitions but also regular "threats" and war scares. The idea was to keep populations supportive of greater expenditures on arms, and to prevent effective political challenge to those who advocated spending ever more taxes on weapons.
Fear was in fact the greatest weapon the arms dealers peddled. And they had no compunction about firing it from the shortest range possible. An example of their cynicism in action was shown as early as 1879, when the Remington Arms Co. was selling ammunition to both Russia and Turkey when they were at war with each other. Closer to home, they sold rifles to Cuban revolutionaries and at the same time ammunition to the Spanish Govt. fighting them.
Remington later topped this when Colombia and Venezuela were at war, but both states were also facing civil insurrections. There Remington achieved a quadruple sales bonanza by having all four parties firing at each other with Remington rifles loaded with Remington UMC bullets.
In Bullets we Trust
Beginning in 1894 an international arms cartel was formed, enabling leading arms manufacturers to jointly exploit markets worldwide without the annoyance of risking undercutting each other's profits. Disguised under the innocuous title of the Harvey United Steel Co., the "Harvey Syndicate" brought together many leading arms majors. The largest of these were UK firms Vickers Ltd. & Armstrong-Whitworth; from Germany Krupps and Dillingen, France's huge Schneider Co., Italy's Terni and from the USA Bethlehem Steel. Some of the companies had numerous national subsidiaries or associated businesses with interlocking directorships, and behind them stood big bankers such as John Pierpont Morgan. The companies sold in all markets to friend or potential foe, without reservation. Yet within their home countries each put their efforts forward as the essence of patriotism.
Arms panics in 1889 & 1892-3 created by agents of the weapons manufacturers resulted in huge surges of military spending in Britain and France, kicking off a corresponding rise in Germany. This tactic was regularly and successfully repeated, often by the deliberate preading of false or misleading information about what potential or actual enemies were doing. Weapons agents sallied back and forth between national leaders and governments, intentionally provoking them in turn. The resulting arms race made Europe a "powderkeg" ready for the fatal conflagration that occurred in 1914, the most disastrous and bloody war in all human history.