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The close of King Philip's War, 1676, coinciding as it does with Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia, marks an era in the development of our independent life. The events of that year, in the words of Professor Tyler, “established two very considerable facts, namely, that English colonists in America could be so provoked as to make physical resistance to the authority of England, and, second, that English colonists in America could, in the last resort, put down any combination of Indians that might be formed against them. In other words, it was then made evident that English colonists would certainly be safe in the new world, and also that they would not always be colonists.”

While the end of an historical or literary era cannot always be thus conveniently indicated by a date, there is no doubt that the final quarter of the seventeenth century witnessed deep changes in the outward life and the inner temper of the colonists. The “first fine careless rapture” was over. Only a few aged men could recall the memory of the first settlements. Between the founding of Jamestown and the rebellion under the leadership of Nathaniel Bacon almost seventy years had intervened, an interval corresponding to that which separates us from the Mexican War. Roger Williams

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