Over the centuries the allure of power and position has often been fuelled by a desire to acquire great riches. Some country’s histories are different to others. How is this so?

Answer: Throughout history, the sovereign of most countries or states, was in effect the owner of all the land. In England, land not privately owned is Crown land.

In a pre World War One census in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II obligingly participated, and wrote down his occupation as ‘owner of the Russian lands’.

The desire to match power with wealth continues. President Marcos of the Philippines, who was deposed in 1986, stripped billions from the national coffers, while millions in his country lived in grinding poverty.

President Suharto of Indonesia had an official salary at the end of his 30 years in office in 1998 of US$80,000. Yet the CIA reported that he had accumulated a fortune for he and his family of at least US$21 billion.

By comparison, when Australian prime minister Sir Robert Menzies retired in 1966 after 17 years overseeing steady increases in that country’s prosperity, on his return to his home city of Melbourne, he didn’t have enough money to buy himself a house to live in.

Source: General Historical Texts

More at: History

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