The British rule introduced numerous economic changes, hardly any of which benefited the Myanmar people. Large tracts of land were brought under rice cultivation and exports mounted phenomenally, but they benefited the Indian money-lenders and British companies involved in processing, shipping, and exporting of the grain. Crops and lands were mortgaged by the Burmese peasants to the South Indian moneylenders, the Chettyars, who charged exorbitant rates of interest, up to 50 percent, and through foreclosures came to own one-fourth of the entire arable land by World War II. The alienation of land, not allowed by Burmese tradition, was blamed by the Burmese on the pernicious Anglo-Saxon law. Tremendous insecurity and restlessness pervaded the peasants, who moved from village to village, ready to listen to political leaders who identified the influx of Indian money lenders and labor with British imperialism. It was in the rice-producing delta of Lower Myanmar that nationalism was most rife.