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Updated November 16, 2020

King Philip’s War

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King Philip’s War essay
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Through out all of America’s colonial history, war was unavoidable between the colonists and Native Americans. Once the Massachusetts colony formed in 1620 tensions were already apparent. As the colony continued to grow, so did the chances for a major conflict to occur. The colonists had an insatiable hunger for more land, which meant the Native Americans were being pushed out of theirs. Along with the colonists mistreatment of the natives, whatever trust and peace was had between the two groups became more and more fickle. The natives were losing land at a quick pace along with their way of life. This put the natives into a survival mode. Survival mode gave the natives the mind set that they need to push back against the colonists to save their way of life.

The push back brought about a war known as King Philip’s War. This was not a long lasting war, but a very impactful war. King Philip’s War was vicious with massive amounts of casualties on both sides. Totaling out to around three years of conflict, the impact of this war would last for many years afterwards.

Once the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, they encountered a few different groups on Native Americas. One of the groups being the Wampanoag tribe led by chief Massasoit. Chief Massasoit built a good relationship between the Wampanoag tribe and the Pilgrims forming an alliance. With this alliance new being formed, the agreement stated that both parties would not engage in any violent acts against each other. If there was a breach of this agreement, the one responsible for breaking the agreement would be turned over to the other party. There was also a clause that required assistance if either party was involved in conflict with another tribe or colony.

The alliance had a rocky start. Even though both sides came to agreeing terms, they were still weary of the others intentions. Politics played a major role that would last up to and during the war. When it came to the colonists intentions, they were in need of the Wampanoags help. The colonists were struggling to survive. They were thousands of miles from home and any type of assistance from England. The Wampanoags on the other hand, used the colonist for protection. When they encountered the colonists at first, the native Americans saw their numbers start to fall. This was due to the diseases that were brought over form Europe. Since the native population was in a steady decline because of the disease, they were venerable to more attacks. The threat of attacks were coming form other warring tribes. The Wampanoags were in need of the colonist weapons to defeat the warring tribes since they no longer had the man power to do so. Even though their relationship was an uneasy one, they were able to maintain it until Massasoit’s death.

During his time as chief, Massaoit allowed the English to purchase large amounts of land. This was done in helps to avoid war and maintain peace. Massasoit was aware that the Pequot tribe went to war in Connecticut with colonist. Their reason for war were trade route disputes. The Pequot war resulted in the Pequot tribe almost being completely killed. Massasoit was trying his best to ensure the survival of his people. After his death and the deaths of the colonists who made the agreement, the small amount of peace that was attained ended.

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