Forbes also portrays the social mobility that characterized life in the colonies. For example, the fact that an artisan like Paul Revere can become as influential and powerful as wealthy merchants like John Hancock and Samuel Adams—and can be treated as their equal—shows that class lines were easily crossed and often ignored in the colonies. The episode with Pumpkin further underscores the relative mobility of social class in the colonies as compared to in England. Pumpkin longs to desert the British army and become an American, because only in the colonies can a poor boy of low class hope to aspire above his birth station and acquire his own land. Forbes hints that the egalitarian nature of colonial life was one of the underlying causes of the growing dissatisfaction with British rule. Many democratically minded colonists, living in a society that was socially mobile rather than stratified, came to believe, as James Otis puts it in Chapter VIII, that “a handful of men cannot seize power over thousands. A man shall choose who it is shall rule over him.”