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If one would understand the making of the social and Cultural life of
the Old South, he must study the troubled Europe from which our
model-setting ancestors came during the seventeenth century. There the
for religious liberties were paralelled by the economic and social
disasters due to the incoming shiploads of gold and silver from Central
and South America. And while wars created artificial markets that
suddenly collapsed, and the discovery of vast stores of the precious
metals upset the value standards of the time, the rapid growth of
English industry and drastic changes in agricultural life added to the
social chaos from which hundreds of thousands of the more ambitious
unemployed of western Europe escaped to the stormy Islands of the West
Indies or the dangerous forests of North America. The common man of the
Stuart and Bourbon absolutisms was in a worse plight in 1607 and 1850
than his successor of our day; and it was the common man of the
seventeenth century who set the patterns of life for which most
Americans and most western Europeans sadly contend today (1).
During the first fifty' years of British dis-
1. Eden, Sir Fredrick: 
The State of the Poor
, in three volumes published in 1797, gives ample information.
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