Broadening and Secularizing of the Colonial Mind -- Expansion and Business Methods -- Crisis in West Indian Relations -- The Molasses Act -- Finance -- The Land Bank and Attempted Revolt -- Panic of the Conservatives -- The Cartagena Expedition
"DEEPER than men's opinions," writes Lord Morley, "are the sentiments and circumstances by which opinion is determined."1 Few men base their political actions upon abstract ideas however much they believe themselves to be doing so. Back of the idea for which they may think themselves to be struggling lies a whole complex of capacities, experiences and influences which urge them along certain lines. Our adoption of a political philosophy is not the result so much of thought, however we may flatter ourselves, as it is of the circumstances and influences to which we have long been subject.
The generation of colonists in the period at which our story has now arrived, that from 1730 to 1760, was particularly rich in experience. It was a time of changing social customs, of expanding commerce, of wars, of religious questionings, and of the setting free of thought. What impresses us most in studying it, is the increasing variety and interest in the content of colonial life. New standards are introduced. Wealth replaces real or hypocritical "godliness" in determining a man's position in the community. Individuals are no longer stretched upon, the Procustean bed of New England Puritanism to ascertain their fitness. It is a time of rapidly expanding energies, and those mainly in secular lines.
During the years of Shute's administration in Massachusetts, the freedom of the press in New England had finally been vindicated, first against the demands of the irate governor, and then____________________