Queen Anne's War

The lull in the storm of war in the American Colonies, caused by the treaty at Ryswick, was of short duration. Aspirants for power again tormented the people with the evils of war. King James the Second died in France in September, 1701. He had been shielded by Louis after his flight from his throne to France and now the French monarch acknowledged James's son, James Francis Edward (who is known in history as The Pretender), to be the lawful king of England. This act offended the English because the crown had been settled upon Anne, James's second and Protestant daughter. Louis like-wise offended the English by placing his grandson, Philip of Anjou, on the throne of Spain, so increasing French influence among the dynasties of Europe. William was enraged, and was preparing for war, when a fall from his horse, while hunting, caused his death. He was succeeded by Anne, and the causes already mentioned, with others of less importance, impelled her to declare war against France after her accession to the throne. Hostilities began in 1702, and, as before, the colonies of the two governments in America became involved in the conflict. In the war that ensued, and which lasted almost a dozen years, the New Englanders again suffered dread-fully from incursions of the French and Indians. That contest is known in our annals as QUEEN ANNE'S WAR.

It may be observed that at this opening of a new era in the history of New England, when the liberal and enlightened reign of William was making a deep impression upon England and her American colonies, the people of our present Eastern States were more united, more enlightened, and less bigoted than they had ever been before. The Earl of Bellamont, whom we have mentioned as governor of New York, was made governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire also. When he visited Boston in 1699, he found controversies allayed, passions cooled, and the prevalence of a general disposition to promote harmony and good-fellowship. Wisdom and moderation had taken the places of folly and vehemence in thought and action; and there was a happy toleration abroad. The printing-press was doing its beneficent work efficiently in scattering the seeds of knowledge, thereby creating a sentiment of brotherhood among separated religious communities. From the beginning, the New Englanders were distinguished for their appetite for knowledge and the ready reception, when untrammeled by arbitrary restraints, of truths of every kind. This disposition formed the springs of that love for liberty which has always distinguished the inhabitants of New England.

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