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In the last months of 1688 a wave of fear swept England's American colonies. In Barbados, planters believed themselves to be targets of a vast design by popish recusants, French Jesuits and Irish servants to reduce the island to ‘popery and slavery’ and perhaps deliver it to France. In January 1689 almost identical rumours appeared in New England, where Indians joined the list of enemies, and two months later settlers on the frontier of Maryland and Virginia began whispering of the same plot. At the same time, rumours of a different sort arrived from Europe, telling of William of Orange's invasion, James II's flight to France, and a possible change of government. This combination of fears and great expectations pushed matters to a crisis. In April colonists in Boston took to the streets demanding a change of government, and before the summer's end political strife had spread to many, if not all, of the colonies. By now one former governor languished in prison, two more had been forced to resign, and a fourth had surreptitiously abandoned his post, sailing for England. All told, the rebellions of 1689 marked the most dramatic political disturbance in the colonies before the next revolution a century later.