WAR AND BUSINESS
Financial Effects of the War -- Growing Disparity of Wealth and Its Effect -- Rise of "Big Business" -- Its Influence on the Legislatures and People -- The Land Question -- Increasing Discontent -- Smuggling -- Writs of Assistance -- Popular Leaders -- Politics -- Increasing Friction with England
IN the closing three years of the war, from the capture of Montreal in 1760 to the peace of Paris in 1763, the colonials, to a great extent, lost interest in its operations, the theater of which, so far as America was concerned, was shifted from the continent to the West Indies. The continental conquests, indeed, had to be held by armed forces, but the colonies considered the acquisition as a fait accompli, and failed to meet their requisitions in as large proportion as they had done in the years immediately preceding. This was as true of the continental operations as it was of the Havana expedition noted at the close of the last chapter. The one thing that the colonists always and ardently desired was to be let alone, to be allowed to make money in their own way, to exploit all the resources of a new land and of overseas commerce, unhampered by French or Indian enemy or English imperial officials or policy. Throughout the struggle, in so far as its larger aspects were concerned, they cheerfully threw the entire responsibility upon England, and continued to trade with the enemy upon a larger scale than ever, caring only for the defeat of France upon their own frontiers. That accomplished by the help of the mother country, their war was over.
Although this attitude was partly due to the extreme narrowness of their provincial outlook, and partly to innate human selfishness, it is also true that some of the colonies had made great sacrifices and were less able than formerly to meet the demands of the military situation. The policy adopted by