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In this quote, Edward Ryan is describing large corporations that amass enormous wealth (“vast corporate combinations of unexampled capital”). He notes they pursue profit aggressively by “boldly marching” to expand their business interests. However, Ryan observes their quest for dominance goes beyond just “economic conquests” – he asserts these corporations also seek greater “political power”.
The quote suggests Ryan believed corporations were increasingly trying to influence government and policymaking in a way that extended beyond their economic role. He appears to see this pursuit of political influence as a threat to democracy.