Meantime much evil arises from usury in the poorer districts.
The enslavement of creditors, overwhelmed with usury in consequence of losses by hostile raids or their own absence on military service, led to the secession to the Mons Sacer (493 B.C.).
The change in the moral attitude towards usury is perhaps best expressed by saying that in ancient times so much of the lending at interest was associated with cruelty and hardship that all lending was branded as immoral (or all interest was usury in the moral sense), whilst at present so little lending takes place, comparatively, except on commercial principles, that all lending is regarded as free from an immoral taint.
They held usury up to detestation, and practically made no distinction between interest on equitable moderate terms and what we now term usurious exactions.
The huge extent of the latzfondi, or large estates, often results in their being left in the hands of speculators, who exploit both workmen and farmers with such usury that the latter are often compelled, at the end of a scanty year, to hand over their crops to the usurers before harvest.
The other representatives of Aryan race in Turkestan are a few (8000) Persians, mostly liberated slaves; Indians (300), who carry on trade and usury in the cities; a few Gipsies (Soo), and the Russians.
The earlier ones in some cases prohibited the lending of money on usury at all, as in a statute of Jewry of the reign of Edward I.; but the later statutes were chiefly confined to limiting the rate of interest.
In the United States of America the law relating to the lending of money on usury varies in the different states.
They perform a useful function in protecting their clients from the cruel usury which prevails, especially in the south.
The Norman and Angevin kings were fully alive to the advantages which accrued to the people through borrowing at usury from the Jews, but they were also alive to the advantages which they themselves were able to reap by extorting from the Jews the wealth which the latter had acquired from the people.