Ever since the organization of the Government of the United States there has existed among the people a small, but earnest minority, known as "Abolitionists," because they advance the abstract right of "all men" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." But the Abolitionists were an insignificant minority. Their demands were never heeded until the requirements of modern capitalism began to require an extension of the system of wage labor in preference to the system of chattel-slave labor. Capitol invested in wage labor and capital invested in chattel-slave labor were hostile in their interests. The slave-holding interests were more sensitive and apprehensive of injury and were in consequence easily mobilized on the political battle-field. From the organization of the Government up to the slave-holders' rebellion in 1861 the propertied interests in chattel-slaves had practical control and direction of the affairs of Government.
With the termination of the war of 1861 began the second epoch of capitalism in the United States. The ex-chattel slave was enfranchised, -made a political sovereign. He was now a "free man" without an inch of soil, a cent of money, a stitch of clothes or a morsel of food. He was free to compete with his fellow wage-worker for an opportunity to server capital. The conditions of his freedom consisted in the right to work on the terms dictated by his employer, or –starve. There no longer existed any sectional conflicts or other conflicts of a disturbing political nature. All men were now "free and equal above the law." A period of unprecedented activity in capitalistic circles set in. Steam and electricity applied to machinery was employed in almost every department of industry, and compared with former times fabulous wealth was created.
Political parries, no longer divided in interest upon property questions, all legislation was centered upon a development of the resources of the country, to this end vast tracts of government land, amounting to many million acres, equaling in extent seven states of Illinois, were donated as subsidies to the projectors of railways. The national debt, incurred to prosecute the rebellion, and amounting to three billion dollars, was capitalized, by creating interest upon the bonds. Hundreds of millions were given as bonuses to proposed railways, steamships lines, etc. A protective tariff law